Foot, Ankle, Knee, Hip, & Spine Orthotics
What is Orthotic Bracing?
Orthotic braces are used to offer support and relief to body parts that have been weakened due to injury or surgery. While most braces are only used for a short period of time, certain types of braces can be used to treat or relieve pain from long term or chronic conditions. Some braces can be purchased over the counter and fitted at home to offer relief to wrists, knees, ankles, or other parts of the body. However, in more complex situations, it is important to speak with a medical professional who is specifically trained in the fabrication and fitting of orthotic braces.
Benefits of Orthotic Bracing
Orthotic braces can drastically help improve a patient’s quality of life, speed up healing processes, and enhance an individual’s mobility. In addition to the physical benefits, orthotic bracing is also a more cost-effective treatment option than other alternatives, as it can reduce healthcare costs for both the patient and the insurer. Orthotic bracing is also known to minimize healthcare costs by increasing mobility and reducing potential health issues.
Types of Orthotics
Foot orthotics can be used to treat a variety of foot injuries or deformities. These often come in the form of custom insoles that are placed into the patient’s shoes. They can be made of a range of materials, both soft and hard, in order to properly support the damaged foot. These conditions can include heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, flat fleet, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, and more.
Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO)
Unlike foot orthotics, ankle foot orthotics work to brace both the foot and ankle. These types of orthotics work to correct a hefty plethora of potential foot and ankle injuries. These types of orthotics are typically custom designed for each patient by creating a cast impression of the leg. However, there is a selection of ankle foot orthotics available off-the-shelf for more minor cases. Our team can use these braces to treat a wide range of conditions and injuries including PTTD, Cerebral Palsy, chronic ankle sprains, Charcot foot deformity, spasticity, toe walking, and paralysis.
Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO)
A knee ankle foot orthotic brace is used to support the entirety of the knee, ankle, and foot. This device is also primarily created custom to suit the needs and size of the patient by making a cast of the leg, and therefore requires professional input. This brace can be made of a variety of materials and styles to meet the patient’s needs. These braces are most commonly used for paralysis and severe muscle weakness. They can also be used to treat patients after a stroke, head injury, or spinal injury. These types of orthotics can provide people who suffer from more serious injuries or conditions a higher level of mobility and therefore a higher quality of life.
Knee Orthotics (KO)
Knee orthotics typically focus on supporting only the knee. These braces are often used when the knee needs to be stabilized or supported after the ligaments or tendons have been strained, sprained, or otherwise injured. In some instances, these braces can be used as an alternative to knee surgery or a knee replacement. Other conditions that can be treated with knee orthotics include hyperextension, lateral compartment syndrome, and injury to the PCL, ACL, LCL, and MCL.
Hip Orthosis (HO)
Hip orthotics can be used independently or as a further support system for knee or knee-ankle-foot braces. When used on its own, a hip brace is most often used to prevent hip dislocation after a patient has undergone a hip replacement surgery. These braces are typically designed to fit a patient using measurements instead of casting.
Spinal orthotics, or back braces, are used to support the spine. Spinal braces can be simple, elastic, lower back support devices or more structured and complex braces created uniquely for the patient. Back braces can be used to treat or alleviate most spinal conditions including chronic lower back pain, arthritis, DDD, muscle spasms, fractures, and scoliosis.
Wrist and Hand Orthotics (WHO)
Wrist and hand orthotics can be used to support and relieve pain in the hand or wrist. These types of braces can either support just the wrist, or the wrist and hand. However, for more severe conditions or injuries to the wrist or hand, custom braces can be made to meet the unique needs of the patient by a healthcare professional. Wrist and hand orthotics can be used to treat conditions and injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, or tendonitis. These braces can also be used to offer support after surgery or during activities such as yoga. They can be an efficient option to achieve the highest possible level of comfort and mobility in these types of crucial body parts.
Contact Woodlands Sports Medicine Today
If you think you could benefit from any type of orthotic bracing, please contact the medical professionals at Woodlands Sports Medicine.