In prosthetics, we use artificial limbs (prostheses) to enhance function and improve the quality of life of people who have lost their limbs. Our prosthetics services involve designing and constructing a customised prosthesis to match your needs and lifestyle.
In orthotics, we use external braces (orthoses) to support body parts that have been weakened by injury, disease, or disorders of the nerves, muscles, or bones.
Orthoses are custom designed and may be used on the upper and lower limbs, feet, cranium or spine. Examples of the different types of orthoses include:
Why do you need prosthetics and orthotics?
Prosthetics and orthotics can help to improve the function and quality of life of individuals, according to their unique needs.
Protheses can help people with:
Mobility issues such as walking, running and jumping
Daily challenges such as eating, writing and dressing
Knee or hip disarticulations, dislocation or subluxation
Positional plagiocephaly, where an infant’s head develops an abnormally flattened shape and appearance
Foot conditions, such as:
Erratic movements in the foot
Drop-foot, where the front of the foot drops due to weakness
Low-tone pronation, where feet are turned outward due to muscle weakness and low arches formed
High-tone pronation, where feet are turned outward due to increased muscle tone and high arches formed
Outward turning feet
Inward turning feet
What are the risks and complications of prosthetics and orthotics?
Prosthetics and orthotics may involve the following risks and side effects:
In general, increased skin temperatures of the residual limb may lead to:
Painful ingrown hair
If you are receiving upper-limb prostheses, you may experience:
If you are receiving lower-limb prostheses, you may experience:
Dark red discolouration
Bulbous end on the limb
Aggressive overgrowth of abnormal skin tissue
Problems with postural alignment
Muscle imbalances and strains
When using external braces, you may experience:
Pressure and diabetic ulcers
What can you expect in prosthetics and orthotics?
Your specialist will conduct a physical examination to observe the following:
Pain or discomfort
Range of movement
Increased or decreased muscle tone
Associated conditions and interventions
They will also ask you questions about your mobility challenges. Next, they will take measurements or create a casting. Your specialist will then recommend devices, some of which are available off the shelf and others that may need to be ordered, custom-designed or modified.
After your specialist has received the device, they will:
Arrange a fitting session with you
Fit the device to ensure that there is minimal discomfort
Show you how to remove and put on the device
Advise you on how long to wear the device
Advise you on how to respond to skin conditions, should you experience any
As you progress in your treatment plan, your device may need to be further evaluated, modified or replaced during subsequent appointments.
Care and recovery after prosthetics and orthotics
Even when a prosthesis or orthosis is properly fitted, the initial breaking-in period can be uncomfortable and frustrating for you.
Below are some guidelines to help increase your comfort level.
Make sure the device is held securely and not too loose. Loose-fitting devices rub and cause skin irritation.
Monitor your skin quality and look out for soreness, redness, blisters, calluses or swollen areas. Ask your specialist how to toughen the area of skin in contact with the device.
Periodically inspect your device for cracks and signs of wear and tear. Look for parts that may need to be replaced.
Follow the device maintenance regimen for proper cleaning, care and storage.
If your skin becomes raw or visibly broken down, do not wear the device until your skin heals. If you experience excessive perspiration, especially in the feet, changing socks 1–2 times a day will help.