How much should custom-made orthotics be
What is an orthosis?
An orthosis is an orthopedic aid that is attached to the outside of the body and is intended to relieve, stabilize or correct joints, muscles or bones and thereby complement their shape and function. Orthoses include splints, bandages, braces, corsets and corsets. Orthoses can be made from plastics, metals, fabrics, silicones and other materials. Depending on which part of the body or which joint is affected, the part of the body is included in the naming. Common examples are:
- Ankle brace
- Knee brace
- Wrist brace
- Elbow brace
- Finger orthosis
For an ideally fitting orthosis, your doctor will work out your individual requirements together with an orthopedic technician. In contrast to custom-made orthotics, off-the-shelf orthotics are manufactured industrially. Although they are available in different sizes, there is little that can be customized.
When do you use an orthosis?
According to an ISO standard, orthoses are divided into the following categories in terms of their function:
- Prevent, reduce and stabilize misalignments.
- Limit or increase joint mobility
- Compensate for muscle weaknesses or control cramps (spasticity)
- Reduce or redistribute burdens
- Compensate for the length or shape of a part of the body
What do you do with an orthosis?
The costs for an orthosis are usually covered by the health insurance companies if the patient has a corresponding clinical picture and a prescription is presented. Your doctor will examine you thoroughly with regard to your illnesses and complaints and discuss with you to what extent an orthosis is suitable for you and what alternatives are available.
In the case of individually manufactured orthoses, plaster casts are first made for an optimal fit. Here, an orthopedic technician orientates himself on the medical requirements as well as on the mechanical function and mode of action. While your doctor tells you how and how long to wear the orthosis, the orthopedic technician will practice with you how to put on, wear and care for the orthosis correctly. It is checked at regular intervals whether the orthosis is fulfilling its function and how long you will have to wear it.
When to use a cervical collar and what you have to consider when doing so, read the text cervical collar.
When to use a knee orthosis and what you have to pay attention to can be found in the text knee orthosis.
When to use a scoliosis corset and what you have to consider in the text Scoliosis corset.
Sports injuries in particular, such as torn ligaments or Achilles tendonitis, often make it necessary to wear an orthosis. The ankle joint and part of the lower leg are encompassed by a U-shaped ankle joint orthosis, which is fastened with Velcro fasteners. This ensures stabilization with only moderately restricted freedom of movement, so that the ankle can be trained.
An orthosis supports the foot and toes in correct walking, especially in the case of foot misalignments. However, it does not replace physiotherapeutic treatment. A special case is the therapy of clubfoot, a mostly congenital foot deformity, in which orthotics are used in addition to plasters and splints.
Injuries or pain and swelling in the hand area are a wide field of application for orthotics. Wrist and finger joints should only be immobilized for as long as necessary, as the joints can stiffen after a very short time and mobility is restricted. That is why the wrist orthosis is adjusted and put on in the so-called intrinsic plus position. The wrist tilts slightly towards the back of the hand, while the finger joints are bent towards the inside of the hand. Additional rails or an inclusion of the thumb provide additional stability.
Especially with carpal tunnel syndrome - a narrowing of the median nerve, with numbness and pain in the hand - a wrist orthosis can reduce the overload.
Elbow orthoses are used especially in cases of inflammation to protect muscles, tendons and their attachments. On the one hand, the orthosis reduces the extent of movements or, on the other hand, ensures controlled bending and stretching of the joint through spring mechanisms.
Due to the complexity and size of the finger joints, finger orthoses are usually made individually for the affected joints. Joints can also be immobilized or their mobility improved with finger orthoses.
What are the risks of an orthosis?
Depending on the area of application, different complaints can arise when wearing an orthosis:
- Skin or tissue damage from pressure points or chafing
- Circulatory disorders
- Falls and unsteady gait
- Stress on bones and joints from unsuitable orthotics
- Irritation and irritation
What do I have to consider with an orthosis?
You should be able to correctly put on your orthosis. Let your doctor or orthopedic technician show you exactly how to use it and ask if you have any questions. The orthosis should not cause pain, numbness or tingling. Reddening of the skin or parts of the body turning blue or white are warning signals that you should discuss with your doctor as soon as possible. The fit and function of orthoses should be checked at regular intervals. Clean the Orthosis with water or disinfect them with special sprays, this will extend the service life.
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