What are Orthoses?

Orthotics is the division of medicine which deals with the manufacture of bespoke external supports. At Steeper Clinic our specialist orthotists and technicians are there to help improve the quality of life for our patients, by prescribing and creating custom-made orthoses to support and correct issues affecting their skeletal and neuromuscular system. 
 
What is an orthotist?
An orthotist is an allied health professional who is an expert in biomechanics, material sciences, pathophysiology and engineering. They are trained in the prescription, fitting, and maintenance of orthoses, and will be HCPC registered and a member of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).
 
What are orthoses?
Orthoses are devices or supports that are applied to the outside of the body to accommodate, prevent, or correct deformity and improve biomechanical function. With solutions from head to toe, they cover cranial remoulding for plagiocephaly, right the way down to insoles for plantar fasciitis.

Functions of orthoses
 
Accommodate
Sometimes a joint becomes fixed in an altered position, for example, if you have a foot that is fixed in a position that it is unable to fit into shoes. To treat this, we would be able to prescribe specialist footwear to accommodate the altered position of your foot, and add special adaptions to ensure you get the most efficient function from your foot and lower limbs.

Prevent
Some conditions can be progressive and the shape and function of a joint can deteriorate over time. Certain orthoses are able to slow the progression of some of these conditions. For example, in a child with cerebral palsy the use of ankle-foot orthoses can improve function, but also slow the rate of contractures development within the ankle. As a result, this can reduce the need for surgery and improve comfort.

Correct
Some conditions are correctable with the use of an orthosis, for example, the use of the Steeper chest compression brace in the treatment of pectus carinatum ('pigeon chest'). The brace slowly compresses the sternum allowing the cartilage to remodel into a more acceptable shape.

Improve biomechanical function
The way that the body moves is due to a fine balance between the skeletal, muscular and neurological systems. Sometimes there is an imbalance in one of these systems, and this can be supported by utilising orthoses designed to support the specific deficit. This may be as simple as a shoe insole to support soft tissues that are strained and causing pain, or a full knee-ankle-foot orthosis that acts to replace the strength required in the leg to stand.

 
Steeper Clinic

Adult Orthotics

Sport Orthotics
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Knee Orthotics
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Neuromuscular Orthotics
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Adult Footwear
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