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Orthosis comes from the Greek word ortho, which means “to straighten” or “correct”. There are many different types of orthotic devices, all made with slight variations geared to helping people with specific mobility challenges.
Generally, an orthotic is named for the section of the body it supports. For example, a brace that supports the knee joint is called a knee orthosis (KO). Those designed to support or align and the ankle and foot are called ankle foot orthoses (AFOs). And so on.
Types of Orthoses
An orthosis may be used to:
- Enhance function
- Improve balance to provide a stable base of support when standing and walking
- Reduce weight-bearing forces on part of lower limb
- Reduce energy demands, resulting in less fatigue
- Support a muscular weakness to increase stability and provide rest and support for weakened structures
- Correct, prevent or accommodate an unusually positioned body part/body alignment
- Prevent contractures
- Distribute pressure and/or relieve unwanted pressure
- Decrease pain and/or inflammation
- Promote healing by offloading weight from a joint or body part
- Stabilize joints
- Compensate for a leg length discrepancy
- Aid in the rehabilitation process for such things as post-surgical treatment, fracture stabilzation, and provide serial casting after Botox® injections
These orthoses may be used to correct the shape of the skull in children, or provide protection from self-injury behaviour, falls or post trauma.
These braces are used
to assist or prevent
bending of the elbow.
Hip orthoses can be used
for a variety of specific needs to aid in positioning the hip.
Shoes can be modified in various ways including lifts to accommodate leg length differences and buttresses to support an unstable ankle.
These braces are used to provide support to the neck and head and prevent unwanted movement.
Also called splints, these braces may be used to stabilize or re-position the thumb or fingers while allowing the wrist to move.
Knee orthoses (KOs)
can provide pain relief, increase joint stability
These braces are used to provide stability and support to the shoulders to promote healing and/or reduce pain.
These braces are used
to support or limit motion
in the wrist, while allowing the fingers to move.
Commonly known as insoles, foot orthoses help support foot structure, offload areas of high pressure, and improve gait.
These braces are used to stabilize the spine and/or reduce pain.
Commonly called splints, these devices align the joints of the affected fingers to promote healing and increase function.
These are supportive
braces that help stabilize the foot and ankle.