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ORTHOTIC SERVICES OVERVIEW
Orthotic devices range from shoe inserts to, back braces, to infant helmets, each serving a unique function. Orthotics are usually prescribed to prevent existing problems from becoming more severe, but they can also increase mobility, reduce pain or rehabilitation time.
At Evergreen Prosthetics & Orthotics we are committed to fitting our patients with custom-fit orthotic devices which best suit their lifestyle and future goals. Each individual has unique needs regarding function, durability, comfort and appearance of an orthotic and our mission is to work directly with our patients and their team of medical professionals to fulfill these needs.
An “Orthotic” is generally called a brace and can be any devise used to support the body, correct deformity, and stabilize weakened structure(s). Many are designed to enhance one’s ability to walk and or function following injury, disease or general weakness.
Evergreen’s Orthotists are all certified by the American Board of Certification. Our Orthotists have an average of 14 years experience in the field and are considered experts in bracing and mobility designs. Evergreen works with many types of doctors who refer patients for consultation and treatment. Orthotics can be used by any patient where a brace meets the functional goals set by the medical practitioner who is treating the patient.
Here are a few examples of how orthotics can be useful in the treatment of various diseases and or conditions.
Patients suffering from either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can experience pain, swelling and joint instability. Joints can become deformed and cartilage can be destroyed. This can occur at almost any joint in the body and will also affect soft tissue in and around the joint. There are a wide variety of braces that can be used to help patients suffering these conditions.
Most braces focus on preventing motion that causes pain and or redirecting forces that are damaging to a joint. Because arthritis affects so many parts of the body, there are many different types of braces that help patients suffering arthritis. These include custom foot orthotics, ankle braces, knee braces (sometimes called “unloader braces”), TLSO and LSO back braces, neck braces, and hand and elbow braces. We fit custom and off the shelf compression stockings to address swelling concerns.
Evergreen can even modify shoes to help somebody walk better that has a deformed foot. Evergreen’s Orthotists are all Certified and have extensive training with arthritis that allow them to identify the problem, design a solution and fit the patient properly. Any brace on the market can be fit by Evergreen or we will custom design a brace to solve the patient’s problem if needed.
Peripheral and Central Nervous System Disorders affect many patients. These disorders can result in pain, deformity, weakness, lack of coordination and decreased function. Some conditions require intense rehabilitation, surgery, and lifetime care. Orthotics can be used to address many of the problems associated with these conditions.
Many conditions have a pattern that can be used to help predict what problems will occur in the future and allows us to better design a brace to meet those concerns. Below are a few examples of how braces can be helpful with a few of these conditions. ( It is not possible to discuss all the diseases and pathologies in this website, but we do provide free consultations if a patients has a conditions and would like to know if wearing a brace would help increase function or allow safer ambulation).
Physical therapy is a health care profession which aims the physical treatment and management of disease or condition which enables people to reach their maximum potential.
Physical Therapists are primary healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities as well as they would like in their daily lives.
Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Orthotists often work closely with physical therapists to provide the necessary orthotic (brace) to enable a patient to perform daily activities more effectively or by limiting the likelihood of re-injury to a body part.
Strokes, Cerebral Vascular Accident, CVA
Strokes occur when a patient looses blood supply to a part of the brain, where the brain tissue is damaged or destroyed as a result of the blood loss. Strokes can be mild or severe in nature, and can affect the whole body or just one part. Many patients have paralysis, weakness, poor coordination, and inability to walk. Others are mildly affected and only require a small brace to address their concerns.
Orthotic treatment depends on the area of the body and the severity of the disorder that is in question. Therapist and doctors work with an orthotist to design braces that allow patients to walk again in a safe way. Upper extremities are sometimes affected and we design and fit braces to increase function or prevent deformity.
Many patients suffer from intense low back pain that sometimes spreads into the lower legs called, Sciatica. This can be very painful and debilitating and even require surgery. Some surgeries, like a spinal fusion are helped when a brace is worn afterwards. The brace (TLSO, LSO, or cervical collars) provides post surgical stabilization in order to decrease pain, restrict motion and allows the surgery to heal up properly. Evergreen has many types of braces that work well for these patients. We can fit almost any patient and if needed custom design a brace required by the doctor. Evergreen has a 24 hour call service for area hospitals and carries in stock, Halo’s and other braces that are sometimes needed in emergencies.
Neurosurgeons also treat patients who suffer from Strokes or other diseases that affect people’s ability to function and walk. Orthotists work with these patients and will fit and design braces that support weakened structures and or correct deformity causes by muscle imbalances, muscle spasms or joint contractures.
Orthotists work with a variety of patients who have some type of bone involvement that causes them to have joint instability, pain and or deformity. Some patients require surgery and or nonsurgical treatment to help improves function and/or reduce pain. Torn ligaments and tendons, fractured bones and arthritis affecting the joint surfaces are just a few reasons to see an Orthopedic specialist.
Evergreen’s Orthotists work closely with these doctors and have expertise that allows us to collaborate with the doctors and come up with solutions to very difficult orthopedic problems. Some of the more common referrals we receive from Orthopedic and Podiatric doctors are custom foot orthotics, ankle braces, lower leg braces, knee braces, hip braces, spinal braces , and upper limb braces, and head and neck braces.
Proper fitting of these braces requires a solid knowledge of all braces on the market, what the doctors goal of treatment is, what the length of time the device will be used, and any special considerations that will affect the prescription. Evergreen’s Orthotists have the ability to custom design any brace if the solution require us to. Each of our clinics has a fabrication lab where we can make any device or adjust the device as needed in house.
Multiple Sclerosis, MS
MS is a central nervous system disorder that affects the how nerves conduct signals from one part of the brain to another. Nerves have an insulation called “myolin” that allows them to conduct signals quickly in the brain. In MS, the Myolin is attacked and this can results in weakness and or muscle coordination problems. Patients can have a severe or mild form of MS that is either slow or rapid in progression.
Typically Evergreen’s Orthotists evaluate MS patients and determine what issues need to be solved. Once we have a goal in place we will design an appropriate brace to help somebody walk better and or function at a higher level. Common symptoms include: fatigue, weakness, drop foot, tone, and decreases coordination.