Prosthetists are skilled and qualified medical professionals concerned with designing and fitting artificial supporting devices for people with disabilities. These devices are usually of the limbs and include artificial limbs (prostheses), surgical devices, etc. Apart from fabricating the devices, a prosthetist is also responsible for replacing and repairing them when necessary.
Before starting your prosthetic journey, an important step is to find yourself a great prosthetist who understands your needs and provides you with the best medical care. Though a nearby clinician may be more convenient in such instances, they may not be the one you’re looking for.
The process of finding a skilled prosthetist requires some time and effort from your end. In this blog, we will review the things you should consider when looking for a prosthetist. That’ll narrow down your list to a few Prosthetists, which you’ll need to visit to commit to one.
So, let’s begin!
1. Ask Around in Your Circle
The very first step to finding a qualified prosthetist is to ask people around in your circle. That includes your family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and so on. They may have a few suggestions that you may benefit from.
A clinic’s website, and online reviews sites, such as Yelp, may also help find a specialist. The opinions of other people regarding a specific prosthetist may provide you with valuable information about their experiences, helping you decide whether you should give them a visit.
Often, the recommendations from your primary care physician, dentist, or pharmacist can be of great significance. Therefore, you should consider asking them for suggestions. If there’s not enough valuable information regarding your clinician, look for other factors when considering a prosthetist.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
Every person visiting a prosthetist has unique health needs, and a good clinician must consider them when planning their treatment. But that’s not the only requirement, as excellent communication skills are also a must when it comes to being a great prosthetist.
Your health care professional should be able to convey all the information regarding your prosthetic treatment simply and clearly. They should be able to empathize with and listen to your needs and preferences. Since you’ll be in a long-term relationship with your prosthetist, they should never disregard your concerns.
A great clinician will answer all your queries and inform you about every step of your treatment plan. Furthermore, they should be able to educate you about the precautions you will need to take with your prosthesis.
3. Expertise in their Field
Knowledge and competency are critical qualities that you should always search for in a prosthetist. Since they’ll be dealing with complex cases, you should first get confirmation they have a license to practice. Websites like Certification Matters will tell you whether your clinician is board-certified or not.
Another way to check is by going to their clinic website or looking for their online profile on LinkedIn, and so on. A skilled prosthetist should also have adequate research on the latest advancements regarding prosthetic devices to stay up to date.
Hence, finding research work written by a clinician suggests that they are knowledgeable about the most recent developments in their profession.
4. Cooperative and Kind
A great clinician will try to build a healthy relationship with their patients. A prosthetist should collaborate with you on all the possible treatment options and inform you about the pros and cons of each type of prosthesis.
They should understand your concerns, make attempts to address them promptly, and provide explanations of each treatment method they use.
Furthermore, your prosthetist should be kind and caring. They should be able to empathize with you and offer kind words and comfort when needed. Disregarding your feelings should never be an option. You should be able to voice your feelings and opinions to your clinician without fear of being judged.
5. Cost Friendly
The cost of your treatment is also important to consider when finding a prosthetist. Choose a specialist that is in-network with your insurance. This means that your healthcare plan will pay for your prosthesis and your regular visits to the clinician.
If you pick a specialist who’s "out of network," they won't accept your insurance, and you may have to pay for all of your visits and prostheses yourself.
Another way to effectively select a prosthetist is to compare the prices of their services with others in your area. Since your treatment will be long-term, try to manage the cost at every step of your prosthetic journey.
6. Inquire About Logistics
One factor that many people may overlook is the logistics. How are you going to commute to their clinic? Should you look for a clinic closer to your house or office? You should also consider the timings. Are you going to visit during office hours or on the weekend? When does the prosthetist see their patients? Do they offer same-day appointments? These are a few questions you should ask yourself before selecting a prosthetist.
Additionally, you may want to find out how long it takes to receive test results. As technology advances, some clinicians may also provide virtual appointments. So, you may schedule them at times when visiting the clinic becomes difficult.
7. Visit the Prosthetist
Once you’ve picked a prosthetist and gathered all the relevant information, you may still have to visit them once to familiarize yourself with their clinic. You should feel at ease in the environment at the clinic since you'll be visiting it frequently.
You should also evaluate how the prosthetist greets and talks to you and others in the clinic. Moreover, you can check if they have a proper setup with all the required equipment.
Selecting a prosthetist is important since you will have to connect with them for a long time. We suggest you check out our qualified prosthetists at Align Clinic to provide you with outstanding care. Our clinics are at four different locations, so book a consultation today and start your prosthetic journey with us.
Pectus carinatum affects about one in every 1000 teens. This is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Still, milder forms of the condition may occur in up to five percent of the population, with male teens more affected than females.
If your child has the condition, one of the treatment options is wearing a chest brace. The brace helps correct the pigeon-chested appearance that the condition causes. It reshapes the chest and gives the child a more normal appearance.
This article will discuss pectus carinatum, bracing as a treatment option, how pectus carinatum bracing works, and its benefits and risks.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Pectus Carinatum?
Also known as keel chest or pigeon chest, this chest wall deformity results in the breastbone and ribs getting pushed outward. The condition is often asymmetrical, affecting one side of the chest more than the other.
It is caused by an abnormal cartilage growth between the ribs and the breastbone. Most children develop it during periods of rapid growth.
There are two types of pectus carinatum:
The deformity can also affect children with conditions that affect connective tissues such as Down syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The deformity gets worse as the child grows older. If untreated, the child can also develop scoliosis- a spinal anomaly.
How Is Pectus Carinatum Treated?
Visual inspection is often enough to diagnose pectus carinatum. But radiography or a computed tomography (CT) scan can help to determine the severity of the condition. Once diagnosed, there are three treatment options for children.
Doctors usually recommend surgery to remove the excess cartilage and bone for more severe or complicated cases.
Bodybuilding or breast enhancement (for females) are the most common methods of cosmetic concealment. They help to sculpt the muscles around the chest wall to minimize the appearance of pectus carinatum protrusion. It helps to improve self-esteem and confidence in the patients.
In mild cases, the doctor may recommend not doing anything significantly if it doesn’t affect the heart or lungs.
How Does Bracing for Pectus Carinatum Work?
Bracing is the first treatment option for young children with moderate pectus carinatum. It’s similar to wearing dental braces to straighten crooked teeth. The purpose of the chest brace is to apply pressure to the protruding breastbone and cartilage, push them back, and gradually reshape the chest wall.
Chest braces have two padded aluminum plates and adjustable straps for wrapping around the child’s chest. One plate sits in the middle of their back while the other gets fitted against the protruding breastbone. The purpose of the front plate is to put pressure on the protrusion. The back plate keeps the brace secure and stable.
The braces are usually thin and unnoticeable when worn under the clothes.
If a child needs a chest brace, it will be custom-made to fit them. The doctor customizes the brace specific to the child’s measurements and the shape of the protrusion. Periodic adjustments are usually made as the child grows.
The child will wear the brace at home and when sleeping, ideally for at least eight hours a day. It takes about a year for the protrusion to completely disappear. It’s important to remember that the treatment length will depend on how long and consistently the child wears the brace.
Benefits of Using a Brace for Pectus Carinatum
Compared to surgical treatment, using braces for pectus carinatum have many benefits.
Some of the benefits are:
Using braces here doesn’t have any significant health issues. But they may be uncomfortable at the beginning and it will take time to adjust to wearing one.
It’s common to experience redness, irritation, or soreness around the skin covered by the brace. These can go away within 30 minutes after taking the brace off. No special treatment is needed. If they don’t disappear, you should talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
Consult a specialist too if the braces feel painful or the child is experiencing skin inflammation such as rashes and blisters.
If the child doesn’t want to follow through with the rigorous pectus carinatum bracing process, a surgical procedure might be recommended.
Pectus Carinatum Bracing FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about pectus carinatum addressed:
1. What's the best age to start chest bracing treatment?
Bracing for pectus carinatum depends on several factors, such as the condition's severity and the protrusion's position. But the optimal age to start bracing treatment is between 12 to 16 years when the chest is still maturing and flexible. Permanent correction without surgery is achievable at this age.
2. How long does my child need to wear pectus carinatum braces?
For most kids, bracing treatment lasts between six months to one year. Some may need it longer. It’s advisable to wear the brace for at least eight hours, but they can be removed when engaging in sports, showering, or doing other activities.
It’s advisable to wear the brace exactly as prescribed by the doctor in order to get the best results.
3. Will pectus carinatum braces affect my child’s quality of life?
No. Apart from the mild side effects described above, using braces for pectus carinatum won’t affect your child’s quality of life. They will be able to engage in their hobbies and other activities. Treatment with a chest brace tends to have good results.
4. How often do I need to come in for check-ups and readjustment appointments?
Regular reviews are part of the treatment program and the number of doctor appointments needed varies. But younger patients growing at a faster rate need more regular appointments and brace readjustments.
Get Treatment for Pectus Carinatum
Align Clinic has been providing treatment for pectus carinatum treatment for over 10 years. We achieve positive results in our patients. If you think your child might have the condition or is displaying any of the pectus carinatum symptoms, visit any of our clinics for a free consultation.
Book an appointment online.
The term ‘orthosis device’ may sound like something from a sci-fi movie. However, these devices are pretty straightforward to understand, even if you’re coming across them for the first time.
A doctor can advise you to wear an orthotic device in multiple scenarios, such as after undergoing surgery or when you’re experiencing intense foot pain.
In any scenario, it’s crucial to know what these devices are and how they work. For that, we have compiled this meaningful guide to help you understand everything you need to know about orthosis devices.
What Is an Orthosis Device?
The word orthosis originated from the Greek word ‘ortho’ in the 1950s, which essentially translates to ‘making straight.’
These devices or braces help support your weakened muscle while you use them. Not only that, but they also help relieve pain and reduce the progression of tightened tendons and muscles.
Orthotics aim to improve your overall function after an injury or illness. For example, you can use these devices after soft-tissue and bone-related injuries and changes caused by neurological abnormalities.
Orthotics are also used in physiotherapy to help straighten and stretch your muscles, improve your gait, and restore your balance and grip.
Here are some more scenarios in which orthotic devices are used:
These medical experts develop, create, and modify orthotics to match an individual’s therapy needs.
Types of Orthosis Devices
As we’ve already established, there are many orthosis devices, each intended for a different body part. Let’s look at some of them in more detail below:
1. Foot Orthoses (FO)
Foot orthoses devices, such as ankle braces and arch support, go by many names. These devices are commonly used by patients that have severe foot problems. In addition, many patients suffering from foot or ankle inflammation and ligament laxity are advised to wear foot orthoses.
These devices are commonly inserted inside shoes. Patients can get tailor-made designs based on their shoe size, as they’re primarily designed using a computerized digital image of their foot. FOs are mainly constructed of vinyl acetate (EVA), which is used to encapsulate soft materials like airbags.
An orthotic can prescribe foot orthosis devices to those suffering from chronic foot pain to prevent it from interfering with their feet’s overall health. In addition, athletes may use orthotics to correct foot abnormalities that impede their performance.
2. Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO)
These devices protect different aspects of the leg, including the foot and ankle. Like your average FOs, ankle-foot orthoses are usually tailor-made to meet a patient's ankle size. In addition, AFOs are designed to help relieve pain and enhance walking mobility.
An orthotic might take a patient’s leg design to construct an AFO, after which they will undergo a fitting session to evaluate the AFO’s support level.
AFOs commonly cure ankle and foot problems like an avulsion fracture, osteoarthritis, or foot eversion. Moreover, they are also used to reduce gait abnormalities. Carbon fiber AFOs are ideal for those suffering from distal muscle weakness.
If you’re not accustomed to wearing AFOs, getting used to them can be tricky. We recommend you only wear garments that can easily roll up, especially while fitting these devices. To avoid friction, patients should also wear knee-high socks that aren’t prone to wrinkles. We suggest you bring regular shoes to the fitting sessions to test these devices easily.
3. Wrist Hand Orthosis (WHO)
A Wrist Hand Orthosis device is primarily used to immobilize or reduce wrist motion. Since these devices only cover the wrist, patients won’t find any difficulty using their fingers.
A WHO treatment provides wrist and hand stability, treat biomechanical nonalignment, and limits excessive wrist and hand movements.
Although these devices are mostly worn while recovering from a wrist injury, doctors can prescribe them as a cure for various hand-wrist problems, including:
An Elbow orthosis is a handy instrument for curing all sorts of elbow injuries. These orthoses devices are incredibly adept at limiting elbow flexion, which is ideal in case of a physical injury, ligament damage, or post-surgical rehabilitation.
Furthermore, different variations of elbow orthosis are available to cure more severe illnesses. For example, some variations of elbow orthosis come with elastic metal joints, while others have adjustable position locking joints that help reduce arm movement. Another type, an elbow, wrist, and hand-finger orthosis (EWFHO), covers the entire forearm, hand, and fingers and aids elbow activity.
5. Spine Orthoses
These external devices are used to support a patient’s spine. The spine is a complicated anatomical system that can get damaged via sudden blows to the vertebrae. In clinical settings, spinal orthoses stabilize and maintain spinal alignment and prevent and cure spinal deformities resulting from a herniated disc.
The primary purpose of spinal orthoses is to support a weakening muscle group, restore a malformed body portion, and keep a fractured spine stable. In addition, an orthosis device can protect a body component from additional harm or correct a body part's posture.
There are many orthotic devices, each with minor changes designed to assist people with various mobility issues. Generally, almost all orthotics are named after the body part they support.
If you feel you need an orthosis device, you can book an appointment today with one of our orthosis experts to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.
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