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Orthotics
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Upper Limb
Lower Limb
Feet

Common Lower Limb Orthoses

Functional knee braces

Functional Knee Brace

Description: Functional knee braces are designed to keep your knee safe for various activities of daily life if you have knee instability issues. They are rigid in design and typically extend 6-8 inches above and below your knee. Your leg will be measured or casted for an appropriate fitting brace. They are contoured to the shape of your leg to provide you maximum protection yet allows your knee the ability to move through the intended range of motion. The range of motion in the brace is adjustable to protect various tissues in your knee. They are lightweight and simple to put on. They can be worn under your clothes so they can be easily concealed if you want.

Indications: ACL, PCL, LCL, and MCL instability and injuries.

Proper wearing: A functional knee brace is best applied while sitting on a chair with a slightly bent leg. Line the joints of the brace with the height of your knee cap. Apply the top calf strap snuggly. This strap is important for suspending the brace on your leg. Then attach the other straps on the brace. Make sure that the joints of the brace are straight on your leg and not internally or externally rotated on your leg.


Knee Unloader Braces

Knee Unloader Brace

Description: Knee unloader braces are braces specially designed to unload the medial or lateral compartment of your knee, depending on what is indicated. They are lightweight and typically have a joint on only one side of your knee. The brace is designed to take stress off the affected side of your knee functionally realigning your knee. The brace can be worn under your clothes so it can be easily concealed if you want.

Indications: Meniscal tears, osteoarthritis

Proper wearing: An unloader knee brace is best applied while sitting on a chair with an extended leg. Line the joint of the brace with the height of your knee cap. Apply the top calf strap snuggly. This strap is important for suspending the brace on your leg. Then attach the other straps on the brace. Lastly apply the functional corrective strap snuggly around your leg and pull snuggly or applies the corrective force on your leg.


Neoprene Knee Braces

Neoprene Knee Brace

Description: Neoprene knee braces are designed to provide your knee with additional stability and intra-cavitary compression. The compression helps relieve some types of knee pain. They come in a wide range of sizes and typically have a relief spot for your kneecap and the back of knee so you can bend your knee comfortably. Some knee neoprene knee braces are equipped with metal hinges integrated on the side to provide additional support.

Indications: Arthritis, swelling, general knee pain

Proper wearing: Neoprene knee braces are designed to be worn under your clothing. The knee brace must be pulled to the proper height for it to function properly. Your kneecap must be resting in the relief opening for proper function. Once the brace is pulled to the proper height on your knee, then the velcro straps can be attached.


Adjustable Range of Motion (ROM) Knee Braces

Adjustable Range of Motion (ROM) Knee Brace

Description: Adjustable ROM knee braces are designed to limit the range of motion your knee is allowed to move through. The settings can be adjusted to fit your individual needs. They have a soft foam liner with a rigid exterior frame to support your leg. This off the shelf brace is custom fitted to you by your orthotist.

Indications: Post-surgical, ligamentous tears, knee replacements

Proper wearing: When applying your brace at home, place the brace on your leg while sitting or lying down. Position the joints of the brace in line with your kneecap and attach the foam liner together. Next, use the velcro straps to secure the brace onto your leg.


Knee Cages

Knee Cage

Description: Knee cages are sturdy braces designed to keep your knee from hyper-extending. They are lightweight in design and have a hinge on either side of your knee, which allows free motion at the joint. They provide pressure behind your knee to prevent the knee from hyper-extending. They are designed to provide support for your knee to prevent further progression of ligamentous and tendon laxity.

Indications: Quadriceps weakness, genu-recurvatum

Proper wearing: The knee brace must be placed at the proper height on your knee. Position the joints of the brace in line with your kneecap and secure the straps snugly. The brace may be worn over or under your clothes.


Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFO)

Description: KAFOs are sometimes referred to as long leg braces. These braces extend from your foot to your thigh and provide stability at the foot, ankle, and knee. They are custom made to your leg by casting and measurements. Depending on your mobility level, they may be designed to have a locking knee or free moving knee. Most KAFOs are made of contoured plastic with metal joints at your knee. A wide range of options are available on KAFOs so they can be custom tailored to your needs.

Indications: Paraplegia, post-polio syndrome, femoral nerve denervation, Duchene’s Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, genu-recurvatum, multiple sclerosis, CVA spina bifida, Inclusion body myositis

Proper wearing: KAFOs are best applied in a sitting down position. Slide your leg back into the brace. Before securing the straps, ensure that your heel is all the way back in the foot piece and the kneecap is in line with the knee joint. With the brace on, slip in your shoe. Once the brace is secured on your leg, stand up and check to see that the knee joint is locked before taking your first step. These braces are designed to be worn over your pants so that the knee joints can function properly.


Stance Control Orthosis (SCO)

Description: SCOs are similar to KAFOs because they are long leg braces that utilize a knee joint offering knee stability for safer walking. These more advanced braces allow your knee to bend to help with foot clearence while walking. SCOs provide a straight and stable knee during stance phase and a bent knee during swing phase. The braces can weight activated, ankle activated, or gait activated depeding on the style. An advantage of SCOs is that they allow a patient to walk more efficiently.

Indications: Paraplegia, post-polio syndrome, femoral nerve denervation, Duchene’s Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, genu-recurvatum, Multiple sclerosis, CVA, spina bifida, Inclusion body myositis

Proper wearing: KAFOs are best applied in a sitting down position. Slide your leg back into the brace. Before securing the straps, ensure that your heel is all the way back in the foot piece and the kneecap is in line with the knee joint. With the brace on, slip in your shoe. These braces are designed to be worn over your pants so that the knee joints can function properly.


Plastic Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)

Description: A plastic AFO is a lower leg brace that encompasses the foot, ankle, and calf. They are custom made to your leg by casting and measurements. Plastic AFOs can be utilized by a wide range of patients. Some purposes of the plastic AFO are to prevent foot drop, provide ankle stability, prevent back knee, and reduce tone. They fit inside your shoe when you are wearing one. Plastic AFOs are very customizable to meet your orthotic needs.

Indications: Stroke, CVA, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, drop foot, general weakness, guillen-barre disease, spina bifida.

Proper wearing: Slide your leg back into the brace and secure the calf and ankle strap ensuring the heel is all the way back into the foot piece. Once the straps are secured, slip in your shoe. These brace are designed to go under your clothing with a long tube sock between you and the brace.


Carbon graphite ankle foot orthosis (AFO)

Description: A carbon graphite AFO is a thin low profile AFO designed for active patients with none to mild ankle instabilities. They are usually prescribed to the individual that suffers from drop foot. The brace has a thin foot plate with a strut extending to a calf piece that is secured with a strap. They are very lightweight in design and allow motion at the ankle.

Indications: Foot drop

Proper wearing: Place the brace in the shoe with the insole lying on top of it. Slide your foot into the shoe and secure the calf strap.


Surestep SMO (supramallolar orthosis)

Description: Surestep SMO’s are low profile braces that extend just above the ankle bone. They provide foot and ankle support for kids who are hypotonic. These orthoses are flexible enough to allow the child to run and play yet supportive enough to provide the necessary support they require. They are custom made and can have a variety of graphics imprinted on them.

Indications: Low tone children

Proper wearing: Insert the foot into the brace and secure the velcro enclosures snugly. Socks should always be worn. Then apply the shoes over the brace.