Upper Limb Orthoses
Wrist-Hand Orthoses (WHO)
Wrist-hand orthoses (WHOs) can be pre-fabricated (off-the-shelf) or custom-made. WHOs support the wrist and hand in a functional position to limitharmful positions, decrease pain and inflammation, and prevent further deformity. They can be used for carpal tunnel or tendonitis. Static splints may be used to improve range of motion (ROM) that has been limited by high tone or muscle imbalances (ie. for stroke patients). Pictured below is an example of a WHO.
Elbow orthoses can be used to help treat tennis elbow or larger, custom devices can be used to improve or limit the range of motion (ROM) of the elbow.
Shoulder supports can hold the humerus in the shoulder joint. For example, some people experience subluxation of the shoulder joint following a stroke.
Cranial & Spinal Orthoses
Helmets are used to protect the brain when part of the skull has been removed during surgery. The helmets have cut-outs to prevent the patient from getting too hot but plastic covers the area of the head where the bone is missing, protecting the fragile brain tissue from damage. Below is a picture of a helmet.
Cervical collars are used to stabilize the cervical spine and are often used post-surgery, for stable neck fractures, or for neck strains. AMPOS primarily uses Aspen and Miami-J cervical collars.
Cervical-Thoracic Orthoses (CTO)
CTOs are for stable neck fractures. They are made of rigid metal with foam padding. These orthoses immobilize the neck and are required to be worn 24/7, usually for a period of 6-12 weeks. SOMI (Sternal-Occipital-Mandibular Immobilizer) and Minerva are two examples of a CTO.
Cervical-Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthoses (CTLSO)
A CTLSO is a TLSO brace (see below) with an extension to the head that will control and limit neck motion. These braces are required when an individual has a fracture to the lower and upper spine. These braces are usually worn for 3-6 months, depending on the individual patient and their situation.
Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral Orthoses (TLSO)
A TLSO immobilizes the spine, acting like a cast. Sometimes known as a clamshell brace, the TLSO provides maximum support for the majority of the spine. It consists of two pieces (a front and a back piece) which are held together by velcro straps. The brace must be worn tightly in order to be effective. The TLSO is prescribed for spinal fractures, discitis, and after spinal surgery. TLSOs are often worn for 3-4 months, but this depends on the individual patient and their situation. The picture below shows a TLSO.
Lumbo-Sacral Orthoses (LSO)
These orthoses cover the lumbo-sacral area of the back and spine to provide pain relief, support, and to limit harmful positions of the spine. The more rigid type is often used post-operatively for lower lumbar spinal fusions. Semi-rigid LSOs (corsets) are used primarily for pain relief. Soft LSOs (abdominal binders) are used for post-abdominal surgery.
Lower Limb Orthoses
Foot Orthoses (FO)
Commonly referred to as "orthotics" and "arch supports", foot orthoses help to restore biomechanical alignment, redistribute pressures on the feet and can off-load vulnerable areas of the feet. After a thorough joint and muscle assessment, gait analysis, and history, a plaster model is taken to obtain a 3D representation of the foot in its corrected position. Using materials of varying densities, the foot orthoses are produced. The devices fit into most walking-type shoes (ie. lace-up or velcro closure) shoes. Conditions that can be treated or alleviated by foot orthoses include plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, diabetic ulcers, etc. Pictured below is a pair of foot orthoses.
Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFO)
Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are braces that start at the toes, extend under the foot, across the ankle joint and up the calf. They may be made of plastic or a combination of metal, plastic and fabric which fit inside the patient's shoe. They are usually custom-made, but can also be an off-the-shelf product in some cases.
An AFO is often prescribed to replace inadequate muscle control and to prevent falls or manage abnormal muscle tone. Conditions that are treated with an AFO can include diabetic neuropathy, spinal stenosis leading to drop foot, stroke, or multiple sclerosis (MS). Below is an image of bilateral AFOs.
Knee Orthoses (KO)
Knee braces provide support to the knee following ligamentous
injury to ensure a safe range of motion. People with osteoarthritis
can benefit from an off-loading knee orthoses (KO). For less
severe knee issues, off-the-shelf solutions can be the answer. For
people whose knee buckles due to weakness, a locking knee brace
may be required.
Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (KAFO)
Also known as "long leg braces" (think Forrest Gump), a KAFO is
required when a person needs support for their entire leg and foot.
The brace is usually made of plastic shells and metal joints and
uprights. Conditions that may be treated with a KAFO include polio
and severe osteoarthritis. Several variations of knee hinges are
available depending on the individual patient's needs. The image to
the right/below shows a KAFO.
A CROW walker is a Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker. It is used to
immobilize a foot and ankle complex that has a severe deformity
and is worn as a boot (ie. a custom walking cast) (see top picture).
Orthoses are named for the areas of the body that they support. They provide correction, stability and improved function. The devices are designed based on a thorough assessment, medical needs and lifestyle factors. These devices are fabricated on-site by our experienced technical team utilizing a variety of materials.
Modifications to shoes may be all that is required to help solve some issues, or, sometimes shoe modifications are done in conjunction with other bracing. Some examples of shoe modifications include adding a rocker-bottom sole, a lift for leg length discrepancy, or adding a medial/lateral buttress or a wedge under the shoe.
Patients with various types of hernias can benefit from orthotic devices. AMPOS can provide devices that prevent hernias from growing or that help contain large hernias.
Diabetic dialysis patients who have an arteriovenous fistula may wish to have a cover to protect their arm and the fistula. After a consultation with a Certified Orthotist, AMPOS may be able to provide patients with a custom sheath to cover the arm and the fistula.