What is orthotics & prosthetics?

Orthotics and prosthetics management is the evaluation, fabrication and custom fitting of artificial limbs and orthopedic braces.

Prosthetics and orthotics is a mystery to many. Why don't people go to the drug store or surgical supply store and buy something off the shelf? Why does each person need to be custom fit? What makes prosthetics and orthosis expensive? Why do some people regain full function, while others experience limitations or require assistive devices? Are prosthetists and orthotists practitioners? Artists? Technicians? (Yes, they are all of the these!)

Who needs orthotics & prosthetics? What are some the causes leading to the use of them?

The Department of Health and Human Services recently reported on the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity. Diabetes is the leading cause of limb loss, and the recent explosion in cases of obesity and diabetes are expected to result in the escalation of diabetic amputations. The number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes is projected to increase 165 percent by 2050. Cardiovascular disease, the nation's leading killer, is the second leading cause of amputations. Millions of Americans living today with cardiovascular disease are at an increased risk for amputation. Obesity further complicates the risk of Americans developing a chronic disease like heart disease or diabetes and increases the risk of amputations to those living with these conditions.

The National Health Interview Survey indicates that 35 million Americans (one in eight) have disabling conditions that interfere with life activities and 16 percent of those individuals reported an orthopedic impairment. In 1990, more than 3.5 million Americans were using some kind of orthosis, more than a 100 percent increase since 1980. Approximately 20.3 percent of the 2 million Americans with complete or partial paralysis of extremities use an orthosis (Nielsen, May 2002). The cause of these disabling conditions are many, ranging from limb-loss accidents to disease.

Advanced Orthotics - Scoliosis, Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO), & Orthotic Cranio Plasty

Scoliosis is an interesting and intricate subject. Curve patterns and pathomechanics of these curves will tell the story of progression. Many types and philosophies of scoliotic bracing are universally accepted as clinically successful means to controlling/managing the curve or curves. Milwaukee, Boston, Miami, Providence, and Charleston are some variations. To manage scoliosis correctly, our practitioners have a firm understanding of all bracing systems and know when to implement certain aspects.

Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO) is a custom brace that is meant to help individuals with muscle weakness/paralysis. It has been clinically successful with lesions as high as T-10. It allows an individual to stand and ambulate, who might otherwise not be able to. It is a great tool for the patient to initiate an upright posture, build muscle, increase cardiovascular strength, and ambulate.

Advanced Prosthetics - RHEO knee, C-Leg (Computerized Leg)

Utilizing advanced magnetorheological (MR) actuator technology and a Dynamic Learning Matrix Algorithm™ (DLMA), the Rheo Knee automatically learns the movements of the user and rapidly adjusts swing and stance resistance for optimal cadence response and stability during walking. The MR actuator reduces unnecessary fluid drag to allow for effortless initiation of knee flexion and normalized pelvic position during pre-swing. Maintenance requirements are reduced due to the zero pressure nature of the actuator and enhanced MR fluid durability.

C-Leg
  • Force sensors in the pylon detect loading of the foot and ankle.
  • Additional sensors read the precise angle of the knee joint.
  • This data, along with swing speed input, is read 50-times per second by the on-board microprocessor.
The result is increased stability, ease of swing, and greater efficiency with every step. There is a knee-disarticulation version available.