Orthotic Care Guides

Care of Shoes (Regular or Custom Made)

While being fitted with your new shoes (regular or custom made), your pedorthist or orthotist will instruct you on how to care and break in your new shoes.

* STOCKINGS

          1.Wear clean, non-elastic cotton stockings

          2.Smooth out all wrinkles

* SHOES

          1.Use a shoe horn every time you put on your shoes. This will prevent the sturdy heel counter from breaking down.

          2.Keep the soles and heels in good repair. Use a good paste or wax polish, as needed, to keep the leather soft and looking good.

           3.Allow the leather to air dry. Do not use heat to dry the damp leather. Use of shoe trees in regular orthopedic shoes over night will maintain the shape and prolong the life.

          4.If your are wearing boots or high top shoes, do not use the top one or two eyelets until the leather is well softened.

          5.Keep your shoes laced tightly enough so your feet will not slide forward in the shoe. Do not lace your shoes so tightly that the laces cause pressure marks.

* SELF-EXAMINATION

          1.After wearing your shoes for one half hour, remove the shoes and stocking and look at the skin on your feet (sides, top, bottom back of heels and legs). Use a mirror if you have trouble seeing the backs and bottoms of your feet. a.If you see red areas, this means pressure. Check the time it takes for the areas to disappear. b.If the red areas are gone in one half hour or less, or if you see no redness areas, put the shoes and stocking back on again and recheck after one more hour. c.If the skin looks good, you may double the time you wear your shoes each day. d.Remember to look for pressure areas every time you take off your shoes.

          2.If you notice pressure areas that do not go away in one half hour, do not put shoes back on, but try again the next day. If the areas still do not go away in a short time do not wear the shoes. Call your pedorthist or orthotist for an appointment so the problem can be corrected before any damage to your skin occurs.

          3.Check the skin on your feet every night. Feet change and you cannot always rely on how the shoes feel on your feet to know that they are not causing a problem, particularly if you are diabetic or have decreased or no sensation. If you have any question or concerns about your shoes or foot problems, please contact your pedorthist or orthotist. Your foot health and comfort are very important to us.

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CARE OF ANKLE FOOT ORTHOSIS (UCB DEROTATIONAL)

While being fitted with your foot orthosis (UCB), your orthotist will instruct you on how to wear and use your UCB effectively. Some points to remember:

* PROPER FIT

          1.Similar to a new pair of shoes, a correctly fitted orthosis may seem uncomfortable at first. During the first few days, alternate times in and out of your UCB while noting any red or sore areas. As you build-up tolerance, increase wearing time as advised by your physician or orthotist.

          2.If you experience any sharp and/or jabbing pressure from your UCB (especially along the edges or over bony areas) contact your orthotist.

          3.Change in bone structure and/or body size may cause your UCB to fit unsatisfactorily. Visit with your physician or orthotist on a regular basis to see if any changes in the UCB are necessary.

* SELF-EXAMINATION Examine daily the condition of your skin. Contact your orthotist immediately with any persistent soreness or irritation caused by your UCB.

* KEEPING YOUR ORTHOSIS CLEAN To clean your orthosis, wipe with a damp cloth and completely dry with a towel, or allow your UCB to dry at room temperature.

* STOCKINGS

          1.Clean cotton stockings should be worn with your UCB. 2.Keep the stocking wrinkle-free.

* SHOES Your orthosis should work well in most types of shoes, however, the shoe will be tighter when the orthosis is added. Athletic shoes work well when the inlay sole is taken out. Remember, shoes or athletic type shoes will wear out faster on the inside rather than the outside when wearing a UCB. If you have any questions or concerns about your UCB, please contact your orthotist.

comfort are very important to us.

 

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CARE OF PLASTIC ANKLE FOOT ORTHOSIS (AFO)

While being fitted with your plastic ankle foot orthosis (AFO), your orthotist will instruct you on how to wear and use your orthosis effectively. Some points to remember:

* DONNING AND DOFFING (Putting on and Taking off you AFO)

          1. Donn the orthosis first and then the shoe. A shoe horn may be helpful, or

          2. Slip the orthosis in t he shoe first and then slide the foot into the orthosis using it like a shoe horn.

* STOCKINGS

          1. Clean cotton stockings should be worn under the AFO. This will be more comfortable and reduce perspiration.

          2. Keep the stocking wrinkle-free, however, do not pull the stocking tightly over toes.

* SHOES

          1. The AFO should be worn with a shoe at all times. The plastic is too slippery to be worn without a shoe.

          2. Wear laced shoes that are the same heel height. Avoid spiked heels, slippers, sandals, or loafers. It will be necessary to increase the shoe size to accommodate the AFO.

* KEEPING YOUR ORTHOSIS CLEAN Clean your AFO by using a mild soap and wiping with a damp cloth. Completely dry with a towel or allow the orthosis to dry at room temperature.

* SELF-EXAMINATION

          1. Examine your skin under the orthosis every day. Redness of skin under pressure areas of a new orthosis may develop. The redness should disappear 20 to 30 minutes after the orthosis is removed.

          2. As you become accustomed to the orthosis, the redness should disappear. If blisters or open sores occur in the pressure areas, stop wearing the orthosis and contact your orthotist for adjustments.

* PROPER FIT Similar to a new pair of shoes, a correctly fitted orthosis may seem uncomfortable at first. During the first few days, alternate times in and out of your AFO while noting any red or sore areas. As you build-up tolerance, increase wearing time as advised by your physician or orthotist.

* FOLLOW-UP

          1. The orthotist will schedule a follow-up visit to make sure the AFO is working and to make sure you are wearing it correctly. A follow-up appointment should be arranged every six months.

          2. DO NOT attempt to repair the AFO yourself.If you have any questions or concerns about your AFO, please contact your orthotist.

comfort are very important to us.

 

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KNEE ANKLE FOOT ORTHOSIS (KAFO)

While being fitted with your knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO), your orthotist will instruct you on how to wear and use your KAFO effectively. Some points to remember:

* DONNING AND DOFFING (Putting on and taking off your KAFO)

          1. Donn the orthosis first and then the shoe. A shoe horn may be helpful, or

          2. Slip the orthosis in the shoe first and then slide the foot into the orthosis using it as a shoe horn.

* STOCKINGS

         1. Clean cotton stockings should be worn under the KAFO. This will be more comfortable and reduce perspiration.

          2. Keep the stocking wrinkle-free. * KEEPING YOUR ORTHOSIS CLEAN Clean your KAFO by using a mild soap and wiping with a damp cloth completely dry with a towel or allow the orthosis to dry at room temperature.

* SELF-EXAMINATION

        1. Examine your skin in contact with the orthosis every day. Skin redness may develop under pressure areas of your new orthosis. The redness should disappear 20 to 30 minutes after the orthosis is removed.

        2. As you become accustomed to the orthosis the redness should disappear. If blisters or open sores occur in the pressure areas, stop wearing and contact your orthotist for adjustments.

* PROPER FIT Similar to a new pair of shoes, a correctly fitted orthosis may seem uncomfortable at first. During the first few days, alternate times in and out of your KAFO while noting any red or sore areas. As you build-up tolerance increase wearing time until you are able to wear it all the time as advised by your physician or orthotist. If you have any questions or concerns about your KAFO, please contact your orthotist.

comfort are very important to us.

 

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UCB, AFO, AND KAFO WEARING SCHEDULE

1. DAYS 1-3. Begin wearing your orthosis in a NON weight-bearing situation for 15- 30 minutes several times each day, ie., watching television or sitting down to eat.

2. DAYS 4-7. Continue step 1 , add 15-30 minutes of function such as walking around the house.

3. DAYS 8-14. Gradually work into the orthosis by increasing the wearing time daily.

4. 0nly increase the wearing time if you are able to wear it fairly comfortably.

5. You may experience some discomfort in other parts of the body, such as in you knees, hip, back, and neck. These are normal reactions to the corrected alignment that the orthosis is providing.

6. Your orthosis may need to be adjusted. For this reason, it is important to follow the check-up schedule to maintain the optimum fit and function of your orthosis.

7. If a squeaking sound is detected from the orthosis rubbing in your shoe, a light dusting of talcum powder should remedy this noise.

8. To facilitate wearing of you orthosis, you must follow these instructions as closely as possible.

9. Your orthosis is a highly specialized device. As with any such device, the orthosis requires regular maintenance. It is very important that you see your orthotist at least every six months for a check up and maintenance of your orthosis.

comfort are very important to us.

 

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CARE OF LOW AND HIGH PROFILE SCOLIOSIS ORTHOSIS

Additonal info for specific spinal orthoses can be found here.

While being fitted with your Scoliosis Orthosis, your orthotist will instruct you on how to wear and use your orthosis effectively. Some points to remember:

* DONNING AND DOFFING (Putting on and taking off your brace)

          1. Proper orthosis application may require two people, the wearer and helper. This keeps the brace from being twisted when it is put on.

          2. Wear the orthosis over a cotton undershirt (preferably with no side seams). Loose fit clothing can be worn over the brace. It may be necessary to wear larger size trousers with an elastic or drawstring waist over your new orthosis. Tops with turtlenecks or cowl necks may fit more comfortably. Procedure to put on the orthosis:

                    a. All of the straps should be outside of the plastic module.

                    b. The patient stands up and the helper stands behind holding the orthosis in the left hand.

                   c. The helper puts the orthosis in front of the patient with the opening at the back.

                   d. The patient steps into the orthosis.

                   e. Make sure the orthosis is not twisted and is facing straight ahead. The opening of the orthosis should be in the middle of the back so the bumps on the spine and the crease between the buttocks are halfway between each edge.

                   f. The patient bends his/her hips and knees about 45 degrees. The orthosis will fit properly only if this is done.

                  g. With your hands on the “hips” of the orthosis, push the brace toward his/her hip bones.

                  h. Pull the extra undershirt material out at the orthosis opening. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the undershirt.

                   i. The helper threads the straps through the D-rings and fastens.

* SKIN CARE

          1. It is important to prevent skin breakdown and to toughen the skin in contact with your orthosis…You can protect your skin by:

                    a. Bathing daily (bath or shower)

                    b. Toughening the skin by apply rubbing alcohol to all skin areas that the orthosis covers (especially where the orthosis presses against the skin).

                    c. Do not use creams, lotions or powder under the orthosis as they soften the skin.

          2. Consult your orthotist if you experience skin breakdown (sore, red and/or raw skin). Do not reapply the orthosis until the skin heals.

          3. It is common for skin over the waist and hips to get darker. This is only temporary and will disappear once the orthotic treatment is over.

* ORTHOSIS MAINTENANCE Clean the orthosis with soap and water. Allow the orthosis to air dry (usually 25 minutes) at room temperature. Do Not leave the orthosis in the sun or near a radiator as it may lose its shape.

* ORTHOSIS USAGE The following schedule is designed to help your skin and muscles adjust to having the orthosis on. Allow 2 to 3 weeks to gradually build up your skin and muscles.

          1. For the first 5-7 days, wear the orthosis for a total of six (6) hours each day. The orthosis should be removed every two (2) hours and rubbing alcohol applied to the skin. If there are any red/sore areas, leave the orthosis off for one half hour and then re-apply.

          2. For the next 2-3 days, wear the orthosis for a total of ten (10) hours each day. The orthosis should be removed every 2-4 hours and rubbing alcohol applied to the skin. If there are any red/sore areas, leave the brace off for one half hour and then re-apply.

          3. During the following 2-3 days, wear the orthosis for a total of 20 hours a day. Apply the orthosis in the morning and remove it every four (4) hours to check your skin. Remove the orthosis in the evening for 4-5 hours and re-apply at bedtime. Wear the orthosis during the night. Remember to use rubbing alcohol on your skin every time the orthosis is removed.

          4. During the final stage, the orthosis is to be worn 23 hours a day. The orthosis is usually removed only for cleaning of the brace, doing special exercises, and for skin care. Rubbing alcohol should be applied three (3) times per day.

* FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT

          1. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled two weeks after you have been fit with your Scoliosis orthosis.

          2. Every six months your orthotist should check the fit and condition of your orthosis. If there are problems schedule an appointment sooner.

comfort are very important to us.

 

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Care of Custom Foot Orthoses

          Foot orthotics are used to correct/ improve biomechanical abnormalities and reduce pain and pressures with functional activities. Foot orthotics are custom molded devices made from a variety of materials ranging from rigid plastic to soft foams. Foot orthotics are designed to support the arches of your foot and redistribute plantar pressures to relieve/reduce pain.

HOW TO USE YOUR FOOT ORTHOSIS:

  • Wear the foot orthosis in a lace-up type shoe that has enough room for both your foot and the foot orthosis to fit comfortably.
  • There is a break-in period of 1-3 weeks for your foot orthosis. During this time you may experience muscle aching or fatigue. Do not wear your foot orthosis all day in the beginning. Initial overuse is the most frequent cause of discomfort or problems. Allow your foot to get used to the foot orthosis gradually. In the beginning wear them for 1 to 2 hours, including sitting and standing. Remove your socks and check for redness that does not fade after 30 minutes. Be sure to check the bottom of your feet as well. This is particularly important for patients who are diabetic and have poor sensation in their fee.
  • If you do not experience any problems, increase your usage by 30 minutes to 1 hour each day.

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR FOOT ORTHOSIS:

          Wash your foot orthosis using mild soap and water. Towel and air dry orthosis overnight. Do not put your orthosis in a dryer or dry it with a hair dryer. This may reform the orthosis. You may wipe your foot orthosis with rubbing alcohol to eliminate odors.

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