Benefits Of Using The Orthosis

Essential in helping physical rehabilitation and in the process of a series of treatments, the orthosis like in can be used in several ways to improve the body’s functionality. 

What Is The Definition Of Orthosis? 

The word orthosis derives from the Greek term ortho, which means straight, straight, correct. It is a device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of a part of the body to stabilize or immobilize, maintain a particular alignment, avoid contractures and deformities, protect structures and joints, promote stretching, relieve pain, facilitate hygiene and restore function.

What Makes It Different From A Prosthesis? 

Although there is a lot of confusion, a prosthesis, unlike orthosis, is a device that replaces a limb, organ, or tissue, either in whole or in part. The best-known type is the prosthesis used by those who have had an arm and leg amputation needing Above Knee Prosthetic Leg, but there are also dental, hip, and breast prostheses, among many others.

What Are The Known Types Of This Device? 

Several types of orthosis exist depending on the affected body structure and its purpose. The orthopedic insole, brace, and orthodontic device are some types of orthosis, for example. When we talk about physical rehabilitation, specifically the role of Occupational Therapy, hand orthoses play a fundamental role in the therapeutic process.

 We can classify hand orthoses into two types: prefabricated and custom-made. Prefabricated orthoses are found in pharmacies, surgical or orthopedic supply stores, and even on the internet. Custom orthoses are made by a qualified professional who molds directly onto the patient’s arm/hand, with the possibility of using different materials, such as plaster, synthetic plaster, and low-temperature thermoplastic – the most used by Occupational Therapists.

How Is The Assessment Performed Until Reaching A Prescribed Hand Orthosis?  

The Occupational Therapist or doctor must always make the prescription, as they are the professionals qualified to assess the needs of each patient. As there are several models and objectives of hand orthoses, it is essential to consider the musculoskeletal, sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and functional aspects, degree of dependence, autonomy, and the context in which the patient is inserted.

Making orthoses requires an in-depth technical knowledge of the professional (Occupational Therapist) about anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, diagnosis, biomechanical principles, available materials, and the biopsychosocial and integrated view of the patient.

Are There Risks In Using Orthoses Not Been Prescribed By A Qualified Professional?

A poorly prescribed and/or made orthosis can cause several injuries and risks to the patient, which can harm him during the recovery and rehabilitation process, for example, with skin wounds, contractures, joint misalignment and pain.

Is there always a treatment and rehabilitation process applied together with the use of the device or are there also cases in which the use of the orthosis alone is enough? 

It is worth remembering that hand orthosis is one of the therapeutic resources used within the rehabilitation process in which there is an interdisciplinary team involved and integrated with the patient and his family. Its indication and use must be included in the treatment plan under the care of the Occupational Therapist. – How can these treatments be performed?