shinfinTM fins are very helpful for above knee amputations. They can be worn on your thigh stump(s) or on your waterproof prosthetic leg(s). Many people around the world give great feedback.
Above knee amputees really enjoy them and benefit from their direct fin control and power from the hips. Good hip movement helps and shinfinTM fins help you develop this too. Below knee amputees and foot amputees also benefit from them.
- Fins flex to fit your thigh stump size & shape.
- Fins flex to fit your prosthetic leg size & shape.
- Same size fits children to adults.
- Fit with or without a wetsuit.
- Extra kick power.
- Extra water safety.
- Improve your joint mobility.
- Stabilise and streamline your body.
- Balance your stroke.
- Adjust position to optimise your swimming.
- Versatile above knee amputation fins.
shinfinTM fins have a very versatile fit, so you will find them to be very comfortable fins. The fin centre flexes open to match your stump or prosthetic size and shape. Rubber straps grip well around your stump or prosthetic, to stop the fin slipping off.
So you can fit them on your thigh stump(s) or on your waterproof prosthetic leg(s). You can also adjust the fin height and angle around your leg, to optimise your kick.
Fin size for above knee amputation
There is only one size of fin and they will fit you fine. They fit prosthetic legs, small thigh stumps and large thigh stumps fine. It is only the length of the straps that you need to decide. You select the strap length in the drop-down list when you order your fins. Follow the instructions below, to measure around your legs in the correct places.
Measure around your legs where you want the fins to strap on, to see whether longer strap(s) may be needed. For a fin on your prosthetic or your shin, measure around just above the ankle. For a fin on your thigh stump, measure around your stump about half way up.
If your measurements are 40 cm (16 inches) or less, then the regular straps that come with the fins will fit you. Any longer requires the long strap. Select your strap lengths when you order your fins: regular, long or mixed (one regular strap and one long strap). Spare pairs of straps, with the same length choices, are also available to order. You can cut straps shorter with scissors, if needed.
Fitting fins on your prosthetic leg(s)
They fit on waterproof prosthetic legs in much the same way as they fit on lower legs. Please see this very helpful story about an above knee amputee snorkeling with a prosthetic leg. He snorkels wearing a pair of shinfinTM fins, one fin on his prosthetic leg and the other fin on his shin.
Fitting fins on your thigh stump(s)
If your thigh stump is about 15 cm (6 inches) or longer, this should be fine for fitting the fin.
If your thigh stump is shorter than about 15 cm (6 inches) and/or is very tapered, the fin may tend to slide down your stump when you swim. This can be fixed in a number of ways, depending on your needs and preferences.
For example, you could strap the fin over your thigh stump liner, as shown in this photo.
Alternatively, you could use a neoprene stump-sleeve, or neoprene swimming shorts, to increase the grip of the straps around your leg. Or you can attach the top of the fin to some sort of waist belt, which might be part of your swimming shorts.
You can even use a separate long fin strap to make a waist belt going all the way around your waist and back through the fin buckles, with the strap ends knotted or attached together using something like a common “bag clip” (google for images). If necessary, you can also trim the leading edge of the fin with scissors.
Please contact me with any questions about fitting your fins to your thigh stumps – I am happy to help.
Single above knee amputation fins
Single above knee amputees should wear a pair of shinfinTM fins .
Wear the first shinfinTM leg fin on your thigh stump. You will probably find it best to fit it on the front of your thigh stump. Or you can wear it on the back of your thigh stump, but that is much less common. Which is best for you, depends on your hip flexibility and joint movements.
Wear the second shinfinTM leg fin on your shin. Position the fin tips at your toes, or perhaps a bit higher. You could wear it even higher, up on your thigh, but that is less common. By the way, it is not advisable to wear a foot flipper instead. That will disturb your stroke balance and power because a foot flipper requires a different biomechanical kick action. It requires more knee-bend with power from your calf muscles, instead of a straighter leg kick with power from the large muscles in your thigh, buttock and torso. A foot flipper would also strain your foot, ankle and calf muscles.
I strongly recommend wearing a pair of shinfinTM fins, as above. Whilst you could just wear only one fin, on your shin or on your thigh stump, having a fin on each leg gives you best stroke balance and power. That is what nearly all of our amputee customers do, if they can. Fit the first fin on your thigh stump. Fit the second fin on your shin.
Bilateral above knee amputation fins
Bilateral above knee amputees should wear a pair of shinfinTM fins, one fin on each thigh stump. You will probably find it best to fit them on the front of your thigh stumps. You could wear them on the back of your thigh stumps, but that is much less common. Which is best for you, depends on your hip flexibility and joint movements.
Stroke power & balance
shinfinTM fins give you extra kick power and speed through the water. The fins can be worn in different positions on each leg. So your objective is to balance the down kick of one leg with the upkick of the other.
The fins will also help you to get more power from your arm strokes. This is because your left leg kicking down, diagonally balances the force of your right arm pull, and vice versa. You can also experiment with the height and angle of the fins around your legs, to optimise your stroke.
They encourage you to use the large muscles in your thighs, buttocks and torso. So they help you to build muscle tone in these areas. This is likely to benefit your movement out of the water too, as you will know.
shinfinTM fins also encourage and stabilise a streamlined body position. The fin positions and angles on your legs, lifts your legs and body more horizontal to reduce drag, even for slow kicking and gliding.
The fins will help to lift your thighs to a horizontal streamlined swimming position, on your front or on your back. This works even if you don’t kick and just swim a little with your arms. Then, if you start kicking, the fins will guide you towards a streamlined swimming kick. They achieve this because they have a natural flex that matches a good kicking style for freestyle, backstroke and fly.
You can use them for many water activities, including snorkeling and scuba diving. This video is from the full story about an above knee amputee snorkeling with a prosthetic leg.
Fin stories about above knee amputations
See the above knee amputee customer stories to learn more about these benefits of shinfinTM fins.
Helpful advice from an amputee
Many thanks to Bill Wiegand, an amputee sharing his experiences with shinfinTM fins in these two very interesting articles: stuff you need to know before or after leg amputation and swimming with shinfinTM fins after amputation.