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Learn More About the Various Uses of Orthosis

Orthotics is a term that is referring to the medical specialty which is concerned with the manufacture, application and the design of a device called as orthosis. Orthotics is believed to be a combination of other areas of study, like engineering, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, and biomechanics. Orthosis is the singular form for the said device, while its plural form is orthoses, and such device can be applied externally to the patient.

The primary purpose of its manufacture and design is to alter, change or modify the functional and the structural aspect of two systems of the body, namely the skeletal and the neuromuscular 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 common disorders or health conditions that can gain benefits from using orthoses are spina bifida, cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury, peripheral neuropathy, scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, polio, joint laxity or arthritis, and paralysis. The common materials used in producing orthosis include carbon fiber, metals, elastic, EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate, fabric, and thermoplastics.

There are three various classifications of orthoses, namely the spinal orthoses, the lower-limb orthoses, and the upper-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 three common examples of the spinal orthoses are the Milwaukee brace, the Boston brace, and the Charleston bending brace; and this specific device is commonly used for the health condition, like spinal fractures and abnormal curvature of the spine called as scoliosis. The term that refers to the lower extremities of an individual is lower-limb, and that include the ankle, the foot and the knee. There are basically a lot of different examples of the lower-limb orthoses, namely the KAFOs or the knee-ankle-foot orthosis, the ankle-foot orthosis, the foot orthoses, the KO or the knee orthosis, and the prophylactic braces.

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