About the HillsClinic Orthotic Unit
The Orthotic Unit of HillsClinic has been meeting the needs of height increase patients since its creation. At HillsClinic as you sign up for height increase by limb lengthening surgery, your assessment for future orthoses needs is started before your arrival. On your arrival to the clinic you are again assessed and measurements are taken for future follow-up and care.
The Orthotic Unit provides orthoses (braces/supportive devices) to our patients of limb lengthening.
Orthotists are skilled in a range of neuromusculo-skeletal conditions and their associated treatment. At HillsClinic relationships with other Allied Health professionals are utilized to provide optimal treatment plans using multidisciplinary management.
This service provides both in-patient and out-patient care through an appointment based system operating between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm.
An Orthosis (pleural orthoses) is the correct term for a splint, brace or appliance that is designed and fitted to the body to achieve one or more of the following goals:
- Control alignment (often with the aim of preventing a deformity occurring).
- Increase mobility.
- Increase independence.
- Protect and support a healing injury.
- Assist rehabilitation.
- Reduce pain.
Orthoses are often used during and following limb lengthening to maintain muscle length, prevent contractures (muscle tightening), assist in correction and provide protection.
Our Orthotists, who hold a Bachelor Degree in Orthotics & Prosthetics, are specifically qualified and trained in the assessment, design and provision of orthoses to meet each patient’s individual needs during and after limb lengthening phases of height increase process. Orthotists work together with Orthopaedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists to determine the correct orthotic prescription for each individual patient. Orthoses require follow-up appointments to maintain the condition and function of each Orthosis.
At HillsClinic orthoses are custom made. The following series of steps are followed at HillsCliic to make custom made orthoses for each patient individual needs:-
- taking a cast of the part of the body to be braced
- from the cast a positive mould is created which is modified
- plastic is then draped or vacuum formed to the mould
- and the brace is finished up and completed
This process can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the type of orthotic.
Types of custom made orthoses for Height Increase by Limb Lengthening include:-
- Foot orthotics
- Illizarov footplate
- Ankle foot orthoses (AFO)
- knee ankle foot orthotics (KAFO)
- knee extension orthoses with attachments to Ilizarov frame on thigh or leg
- Toes slings
- Fracture braces for tibia or femur
Orthoses, skin and pressure areas need special care and regular follow-up by our team of care providers.
When limb lengthening the tibia (shin bone), footplates are often used to maintain the length and/or stretch the gastrocnemius (calf muscle). These are foam lined plastic footplates attached to the Ilizarov frame rings via adjustable straps. The tension can be adjusted as the limb lengthens and muscle stretches.
Toe slings are used to prevent the toes from flexing and adopting a curled position.
In a few cases, knee extension orthoses are fitted to prevent knee flexion contractures, (not being able to straighten knees).
Following Removal of Frame
Once the frame has been removed, custom-made ankle foot orthoses (AFO’s) and femoral or tibial fracture braces are used to maintain the position of the foot and ankle, as well as protect the long bones that are still healing. These may be for long term use.