What is Pediatric Orthotics and Bracing?
Orthotics is a branch of medicine that makes use of devices such as braces and splints. They are used to support or otherwise treat muscles, bones, and joints which are weak, injured, or deformed. Pediatric orthotics is the use of these devices with children and is commonly referred to as pediatric bracing.
There are many problems that can lead to a need for orthotics. And this practice is particularly useful when dealing with children because a child’s bones possess a higher ability to heal themselves. They are inherently more resilient and pliable. Many of these problems tend to get worse over time, so addressing them early is a great asset. Ideally, issues will be addressed before they become a larger issue as the child grows up.
And with the fact that there are many different ailments that can be treated with orthotics, there are many different methods. We’ll walk through the top versions of pediatric orthotics and bracing used by the professionals at Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions.
Functional Electrical Stimulation
As we’ll find with most of the instruments used for pediatric bracing, the name will provide a condensed description of what the device does. Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) makes use of small electrical pulses to stimulate nerves and/or muscles.
FES is one of the more exciting recent advancements in orthotics. The original patent goes all the way back to 1967, but new technology has improved the functionality of FES while also allowing it to be used to treat more ailments.
FES is commonly used to treat an ailment called Foot Drop. Foot Drop affects the way someone walks by making it difficult or impossible to lift their foot in the appropriate way. This can be due to damage, irritation, weakness of nerves, or paralysis of muscles in the lower leg.
This is treated with small electrical pulses to stimulate these nerves or muscles. The pulses activate the treated area causing the foot to lift, which makes walking more natural.
Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions has been helping people with pediatric muscle and skeletal issues for years. Visit us today to take the first step toward a better future.
Pediatric Ankle Foot Orthoses
Pediatric Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) is used to treat children with ankle and/or foot disorders. These are frequently a type of brace that helps support the child. It allows the child to learn how to balance themselves as they walk.
AFOs are the most common type of orthotic device used for children experiencing problems with their lower extremities. Similar to FES, AFOs are used to treat a child experiencing Foot Drop. However, AFOs can also be used for many other issues with the ankle or foot.
An AFO can be used to restrict the movement of the ankle or foot in the instance of a fracture. They can also be used to hold contracted muscles into a more natural position.
They are frequently used because AFOs are generally regarded as highly effective. In fact, about 26% of all orthotics in the United States are AFOs. They are frequently made of plastic and carbon fiber.
Cranial Remodeling Helmet
The skull of a baby is quickly growing and changing. In fact, a child’s skull is fairly soft when it is firstborn. This can lead to problems such as positional plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly—abnormally flattened spots on the skull. There are a number of factors that can cause this. A child that is positioned in a strange way while in utero can show these symptoms. So can a child that is born premature or experiences a difficult delivery.
However, the trait that allows for the problem to arise also allows for the solution. Cranial remodeling helmets are used in pediatric bracing to guide the skull as it grows to a more natural shape. This is done with specific measurements and the formation of the helmet to fit each individual case.
Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine that is usually characterized by an S-shaped curve throughout the back. This can lead to pain and discomfort if the curvature continues to grow and worsen. Bracing is often used to combat the continuation of the deformity.
A scoliosis brace is custom-molded for each patient. Specifics are important for bracing and a well-shaped brace increases the likelihood of effectiveness. Unchecked scoliosis will continue to worsen over time and can become very uncomfortable for the patient, even leading to difficulty in breathing.
The professionals at Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions scan and measure their patients to ensure the selected brace will work to the best of its ability. There are multiple versions of braces used to treat scoliosis. Selecting the appropriate brace and molding it with specific measurements give the patient the best chance at slowing the progression of scoliosis.
Visit Bulow Orthotic and Prosthetic Solutions to see how they can help you today with pediatric bracing.