A: A shrinker is a tubular piece of compression bandage that is used to control the amount of swelling in your residual limb. Shrinkers come in every shape, size and style imaginable, but they all serve the same purpose. We recommend that all new amputees wear a shrinker, AT MINIMUM, from the period of time that they have fully healed, to the time they receive their first prosthesis. We also recommend wearing a shrinker whenever the prosthesis is not being used. This will ensure the prosthesis can be donned consistently and will help in keeping a perfect fit for a longer period of time.
The need for a shrinker may gradually decrease over time as your residual limb continues to mature and stabilize in volume. It is always a good idea to keep at least one shrinker handy in the event you swell more than anticipated and have a difficult time donning your prosthesis.
If you are a new amputee, you will greatly benefit from the proper and regular use of a shrinker. Wearing a shrinker is one of the best ways to ensure your prosthesis continues to fit as well as when you first received it.