The field of prosthetics involves evaluating, fabricating, and custom fitting artificial limbs.
People who have been born with a limb deficiency or who have suffered amputation due to trauma, cancer, infection, or abnormalities in blood vessels or nerves can benefit from prosthetics.
The prosthesis must be made from a combination of materials, alignment, design, and construction.
A lower-limb prosthesis may deal with stability in standing and walking, shock absorption, energy storage and return, cosmetic appearance, and even running, jumping, and other athletic activities.
An upper-limb prosthesis can aid in reaching, grasping, occupational challenges such as hammering, painting, or weight lifting, and daily living tasks such as eating, writing, and dressing.
Orthotics are special shoe inserts that your doctor prescribes for your particular needs and are custom-made for you.
Orthotics can be prescribed by a doctor to treat foot, leg, or back problems.
An orthotic is only prescribed if no other treatment, such as exercises at home, have proved effective.
If you are experiencing significant foot and heel pain, you may wish to see a podiatrist, a doctor who specializes in conditions of the feet.
The doctor will begin by discussing your symptoms with you.
You may be asked when you first noticed the symptoms, what makes them worse, and what makes them better.
Your podiatrist will then conduct a physical examination of your feet.
He or she will look for deformities and areas that are particularly painful.
You will likely be asked to walk and perform other activities to determine how your feet and ankles are positioned during certain exercises.
Doctors may even use special imaging or pads when you walk.
These images will show how and where you strike the ground, and can help determine the exact location and type of problems with your feet.
Your doctor may also recommend traditional imaging of your feet, such as an X-ray, bone scan, or MRI.
These can help identify areas of arthritis, damage, or injury.
All of these diagnostic methods will be considered when making treatment recommendations, which may include the prescription of orthotics.
If you have positional concerns with your feet or legs, your doctor may prescribe custom orthotics.
Underdeveloped muscles in your legs or feet may require custom orthotics.
Orthotics are often a part of a treatment regimen for foot and ankle problems.
In addition to orthotics, a doctor may prescribe more supportive shoes and physical therapy exercises.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, may also be prescribed by doctors to reduce pain and inflammation.
Orthotics are often recommended in conjunction with these treatments because they can correct feet that aren’t positioned properly.
An overpronated foot, for instance, rolls slightly inwards or downwards.
People with flat feet usually have this problem.
Wearing orthotics is one way to provide extra arch support in order to prevent this from happening.
Orthotics can also provide extra support and cushioning in key areas of the feet, such as the heel and ball.
Since orthotics are custom-made, the person making them will take into account the individual’s footwear needs.
Orthotics and other treatments can potentially prevent more invasive treatments, such as surgery.
Orthotics are available in a variety of materials.
A doctor will prescribe an orthotic material based on the patient’s condition and symptoms.
Materials for orthoses can range from rigid – made from materials such as carbon fiber or plastic – to accommodative, which is flexible and cushioned.
In some cases, orthotics are full-shoe inserts like the insoles found in athletic shoes.
Another type is a small heel insert that fits into the heel cup of the shoe.
The ankle-foot orthotic has both a shoe insert and a calf-length upright portion that extends from the heel upwards.
An orthotist, also known as a prosthetist, is a trained health care professional who designs and measures medical devices called prostheses.
An artificial prosthesis replaces a body part that may be missing, malfunctioning, or partially or completely damaged.
A prosthetic is an artificial substitute or replacement for a part of the body, such as a tooth, eye, facial bone, palate, hip, knee, or another joint, a leg, an arm, etc.
Prostheses may be designed for functional or cosmetic reasons.
Prosthetics can be divided into four main types.
They are known as transradial, transhumeral, transtibial, and transfemoral prosthetics.
Depending on what body part was amputated, each prosthetic serves a different purpose.
The cost of custom orthotics can range from $200 to $800.
You may not be able to get the proper support from regular shoes if you have high or low arches. Orthotics can help provide that support.
Orthotics are also useful in mitigating pain caused from a variety of diseases, such as diabetes, bursitis or arthritis.
Orthotics can also provide support for other joints, such as the ankle, wrist, spine or elbow.
Orthotics are different from prosthetics.
You wear them inside your shoes to correct biomechanical foot issues, including how you walk, stand, or run.
Additionally, they can help with foot pain caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and arthritis.
Orthotics are, for example, ankle braces that allow a person to stand straight.
Additionally, wrist braces, arm braces, spinal orthotics, and heel casts are orthotic devices.
In all of these cases, the goal is to be able to perform basic movements again without pain or difficulty.
There are four main parts to a limb prosthesis:
Common Prosthetic Issues