An orthosis is “an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system”.
Orthotics combines knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, bio-mechanics and engineering. Patients benefiting from an orthosis may have a condition such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy, or have experienced a spinal cord injury or stroke. Equally, orthosis are sometimes used prophylactic-ally or to optimize performance in sport.
Pediatric Orthosis are specialized orthosis created for children with deformities, congenital defects and other injuries. Pediatric orthosis could last any where up to a year to two or three years for kids, keeping in mind their activities and growth patterns. These custom molded orthosis are designed to stabilize the structures of the foot/ankle complex to enable the child to utilize current and potential muscle capabilities.
Orthosis are made from thin and flexible thermoplastic materials allowing the child to receive proprioceptive feedback through total contact foot plate modifications.
Prosthetic for children is very different than prosthetics for adults. Although the technology and the principle remain the same, children handle their prosthetics in their own way. Also, in case of children, the parents and the prosthetist are much more involved in the entire process of fitting the child with a prosthetic limb. Children tend to need prosthesis either due to a congenital defect that has left them without a limb or necessary amputation due to diseases or an accident.
Typically, a child is eligible for prosthetics when they are able to stand on their own, which tends to happen at 9-12 months of age. If your child has a congenital defect for which a prosthesis is needed, it is advised that you get him/her fitted with one at this age. At this age you can get your child fitted with a passive prosthesis. The prosthesis at an early age enables them to get accustomed to it, and also to identify the prosthesis as a part of themselves as they grow. It also lets them use the prosthesis to their comfort. They can sit, stand, walk and even run around.
Children need special attention and rehabilitation, and hence they need to be checked by the clinician at least once in six months and they need a change of socket every year to accord with their growing bodies till they are eighteen.
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