What type of shoes can I wear with my orthosis (brace)?
The best shoes to wear with a brace are tie or velcro closing walking type shoes or sneakers. Shoes need to have enough depth (room) to fit a brace into the shoe in addition to your foot. Generally, ½ size larger than your usual shoe will work well with a brace. It is important for the brace to be fit with the shoes you intend to wear most often, so bring that pair along to your initial visit.
How long will I need to use these braces?
Your physician will determine how long you will need to wear a brace. Ongoing communication between yourself, your physician and your orthotist will provide you with the best information and outcome.
How often will the brace need to be replaced?
Frequency of replacement depends on whether you are growing, your activity level (wear and breakage), and if your needs change. Some braces are still appropriate after 6 or more years and in some cases, we’ve replaced braces for patients (usually due to growth) in as little as 6 months. If you have a question about whether your brace needs to be replaced, please ask us.
Will I be able to walk without a shoe?
While all braces are different, in most cases, the answer is no. Shoes are usually required to keep your brace on your foot. Shoes also provide traction since the surface of the brace is slippery and may present a hazard. There is also a chance the brace will get damaged if not worn with a shoe.
How long will it take me to get used to my brace?
This varies from person to person, but the average is 10 days. Patients are usually given a wearing schedule when they receive the brace. This schedule allows the patient to adjust to the brace, helps assure no fitting problems develop, and will help the wearer quickly identify any issues which may require a visit the the orthotist for an adjustment.
May I drive with my brace?
Be sure and speak with your physician about driving. If permitted, be sure to let us know at the initial appointment. Most of our patients find that after adjusting to their brace they are able to drive without any problems. Some patients do need adaptive equipment in their cars in order to drive, but this is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Do I need Physical Therapy to help me use my brace?
The need for physical therapy is determined on a case by case basis. Some patients do need physical therapy after receiving a brace in order to receive gait training and/or donning or doffing follow-up. Be sure to let us know if you have questions about physical therapy.
What do I do with an old orthosis?
Due to federal regulations, braces and prostheses no matter how new and regardless of condition, may not be recycled in any way within the United States. However, we are pleased to accept donations for Physicians for Peace, a non-profit organization that provides used adaptive devices to medical care givers in developing nations. Items accepted for donation should be in excellent to good condition.
Is the cost of my orthosis covered by insurance?
This depends on the type of insurance you have. Our office will help you determine what your policy covers, and explore other funding sources as needed.
Does the orthosis come with any sort of warranty or guarantee?
We warranty each new device against defects, workmanship and materials for a full 90 days from the day you receive your device. Any non-warranty claims will be evaluated on a case by case basis, and we provide a repair estimate prior to performing any repairs. Keep in mind that physical changes of a patient are not covered under this warranty (i.e., edema, weight fluctuations) since we have no control over such matters.
How long will the orthosis last before it is outgrown and needs to be replaced?
This depends on how fast the child is growing. When we design a pediatric prosthesis and/or brace, we keep in mind that our patient is active and growing. It is our goal to design the device to last as long as possible, while not compromising its therapeutic value. We recommend that children come in for a visit every 6 months, or sooner if they are growing fast.