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Find Out More About the Various Types of Orthoses

Orthotics is basically referring to the medical specialty that is more concerned with the design, application and manufacture of a specific device called as orthosis. This certain specialty of the medical field is a combination of other fields of study, such as pathophysiology, biomechanics, engineering, and anatomy and physiology. The singular form for the said device is orthosis, while orthoses is its plural form, and it can be worn or applied externally to the individual who needs it.

An orthosis is primarily manufactured and designed to modify, alter or change the structural and functional aspect of the two bodily systems, namely the neuromuscular system and the skeletal system. The most common uses of the orthoses is to assist the movement of the bones, joint, and muscles in a general manner; to limit the movement, immobilize, control or guide the movement of a body segment, joint and extremity for a specified reason; to correct the function and the shape of the patient’s body part; to provide the patient with an easier movement capability; to reduce the pain felt by the patient; to aid rehabilitation from any fractures after a cast is removed; to reduce the weight bearing forces of the patient; and to restrict movement in a specified direction. The various health conditions that can definitely obtain beneficial factors from using orthoses are stroke, spinal cord injury, peripheral neuropathy, scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, polio, joint laxity or arthritis, paralysis, spina bifida and cerebral palsy. The various materials that are commonly used in the production and design of orthoses are fabric, thermoplastics, carbon fiber, metals, elastic, and EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate.

The orthoses are classified in three ways, namely the upper-limb orthoses, the spinal orthoses, and the lower-limb orthoses. Upper-limb can also be called as the upper extremities of a human being, and the orthoses is being attached or applied to the arm segments or the arm of the patient, and the device may be mechanically designed or electromechanically designed. The different examples of the upper-limb orthoses are the elbow orthoses, hand orthoses, forearm-wrist-hand orthoses, forearm-wrist orthoses, forearm-wrist-thumb orthoses, functional arm orthoses, arm orthoses, and clavicular and shoulder orthoses. The Charleston bending brace, the Milwaukee brace, and the Boston brace is the three common examples of the spinal orthoses, and it is designed for the disorder or the condition like scoliosis and fractures of the spine. The term that refers to the lower extremities of an individual is lower-limb, and that include the ankle, the foot and the knee. The various examples of the lower-limb orthoses are the foot orthoses, the KO or the knee orthosis, the prophylactic braces, the KAFOs or the knee-ankle-foot orthosis, and the ankle-foot orthosis.

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