Custom Made, High-Tech Orthotics

Orthotics is a specialty of healthcare that uses artificial devices like splints and braces. You can rest assured that we only offer the latest functional and lightweight orthotics to our patients who live in and nearby Beaumont, Nederland and Jasper.

Halo Braces

Designed for odontoid fractures (fractures to the second cervical vertebrae of the spine), Halo Braces consist of metal rings secured to the skull with pins and four metal rods attached to a plastic jacket. With a well-fitted Halo Brace it is possible to completely arrest almost all movement of the cervical spine (head and neck), which is necessary for the healing of an odontoid fracture as well as convalescence after fusion surgery. You can also get off bed rest, which can contribute to clots, pressure sores and other issues.

Upper Extremity Orthoses

Any splint, brace or orthosis that is applied to the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand are generally included in the category of upper extremity orthoses. Functions of these devices include:

  • Increasing range of motion
  • Immobilization of the extremity to promote healing
  • Enhanced functionality
  • Provides attachment for assistive devices
  • Correction of deformities
  • Stoppage of joint movement
  • Traction application to correct or prevent contractures

Those who frequently use upper extremity orthoses include people with:

  • Neurological problems (i.e., stroke or brain trauma)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Peripheral nerve injuries
  • General trauma due to sports or work-related injuries

The use of our fingers, hands and arms is very often critical to our success at work, play and at home. For this reason LeTourneau Prosthetics offers upper extremity orthotics that can be used in a wide range of activities and are made from a wide array of materials.

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Lower Extremity Orthoses

Lower extremity orthoses include any devices that may be applied or attached to your lower body (generally below the waist). A lower extremity orthosis is designed to:

  • Improve function by modifying or controlling motion
  • Provide support through stabilizing one’s gait
  • Reduce pain through the transferring of weight to another area
  • Correct flexible deformities
  • Prevent fixed deformity progression

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Some common orthoses include:

  • Ankle-foot orthosis (AFOs)
  • Knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFOs)
  • Hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis (HKAFOs)
  • Trunk-hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis (THKAFOs)

“In light of the fact that an ill-fitting AFO, KAFO, or HKAFO can sometimes inadvertently be turned into a UFO,” says Tom LeTourneau, “We make every effort to get precise measurements before creating your particular orthosis.”

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Trunk-Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (THKAFOs)

To get a THKAFO, just add a specialized spinal orthosis to an HKAFO. This type of orthosis has similar indications to a HKAFO but with the added benefit of greater spinal alignment and more trunk motion control. Individuals who benefit most from these types of orthoses include:

  • Individuals with neuromuscular diseases (Spina Bifida, MS, Muscular Dystrophy or other neurological impairments)
  • Paraplegic individuals (spinal cord injuries)
  • Those that have undergone hip replacements
  • Those with certain degenerative diseases

A THKAFO is particularly hard to put on so LeTourneau Prosthetics takes extra time and energy to train all their clients in the use of this type of orthosis. This training includes:

  • Rational counsel on the need of this type of orthosis at all
  • Careful inspection of its fit and function
  • Appropriate training in the full scope of ambulatory function

Very often a THKAFO is needed for a child with Spina Bifida, MS or Muscular Dystrophy. With a THKAFO a child still has a chance to walk.

Hip-Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (HKAFOs)

The HKAFO consists of a KAFO with the additional components of a pelvic band and hip joint. The main purpose is to stop unwanted motion of the hip (either side-to-side, front-to-back or abnormal rotation motion) and provide more stability during gait. Individuals who benefit most from these types of orthoses include:

  • Individuals or children with neuromuscular diseases (Spina Bifida, MS, Muscular Dystrophy or other neurological impairments)
  • Paraplegic individuals (spinal cord injuries)
  • Those that have undergone hip replacements
  • Those with certain degenerative diseases
  • Prophylactic Braces

Made primarily of neoprene, prophylactic braces generally cover most of the leg and reduce its ability to rotate, which can decrease the chances of injury during contact sports (hyperextension). If worn the wrong way, these braces can alter the force exerted on the knee in a negative way and become problematic. Prophylactic braces are one of the least expensive types of braces found at LeTourneau Prosthetics. Functional prophylactic braces are designed for those who have already experienced an injury and need extra support for a proper recovery. Rehabilitation prophylactic braces limit medial and lateral movement of the knee. They are mostly used after injury or surgery to immobilize the leg.

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Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (KAFOs)

A KAFO is simply an AFO with metal uprights, a mechanical knee joint and two bands that attach to the thighs. Most commonly used in quadricep weakness or paralysis, the purpose of a quality KAFO is to provide knee stability, prevent involuntary flexion and generally assist the muscles of the leg. Some common causes of muscle paralysis or weakness include:

  • Poliomyelitis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injuries

In the past, the best option for a patient with weakness of the muscles that control the knee was to wear a KAFO with a locked knee joint. However, newer designs of the knee joint in modern KAFOs allow automatic locking and unlocking at appropriate phases of the gait cycle, which results in a more fluid walking style. LeTourneau Prosthetics offers a full line of these advanced KAFOs and custom designs each one to a patient’s specifications through a rigorous process.
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Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFOs)

When you’ve got ankle problems your doctor may prescribe a good Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO). The main purpose of a quality AFO is to:

  • Correct a foot deformity and/or support the proper positioning of the foot when standing or walking
  • Prevent foot drop, which is failure to maintain the foot’s normal flexed position due to, extended bed rest, trauma or muscle weakness/paralysis
  • Prevention of heel cord tightness
  • Control ankle stability
  • Ease tendon pain

There are no small, medium or large AFOs at LeTourneau Prosthetics. They are all custom designed for a precise fit through a rigorous protocol that utilizes plaster casting. In addition to high-tech plastic, LeTourneau Prosthetics can make an AFO from a lightweight carbon fiber material for those who need more durable support and sturdier materials (i.e., those with larger physiques, construction workers, athletes, etc.).

 

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Supra Malleolar Orthosis (SMOs)

A Supra Malleolar Orthosis gets its name from the part of the body that it encompasses, (the part of the leg just above the ankle bone). An SMO can be worn while wearing shoes and basically treats ankle instability problems. Often worn by children, SMOs are often prescribed for those who have flat feet but can still benefit from orthotic manipulation. It’s designed to restrict side-to-side motion, help maintain a vertical heel as well as support the three arches of the foot, all of which can help standing, balance and walking.