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Unread 03-04-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default orthotics

I just want to alert people to keep an eye out on developments in the field of orthotics. With the number of amputees resulting from the war, new developments are occurring on the fronts of both orthotics and prosthetics, and some of those developments can benefit neuropathics with mobility and functional issues.

For me thumb splints have proven fairly effective in relieving hand pain while tasking. Granted, I can not do some things while the splints are on, however, they have helped me on the computer, and they keep my hands from going numb for a while when biking. An occupational therapist fitted those for me, they are custom and made of a hard substance like a thick plastic.

I don't know how the AFOs will work for the legs, but I know my spine splint, alto bulky did help relieve some pain. I hope the new one, will be much more effective at giving me more mobility. Many of the new splints are carbon fiber and very light. They do need professional fitting and some need to be custom. You can not buy them online and expect good results.

PN in your feet can cause you to lose proprioception and you may not realize it, but your feet can slowly get deformed. Orthotics and AFOs can prevent some of this disability or at least minimize some of it. Some orthotics can allow very unstable people to gain some mobility with proper fit and training. It is worth exploring to see if it works for you.

Watching your skin for signs of wear is essential, but properly fitted orthotics should not hurt your skin, or be padded properly as not to cause injury.

You can check with your doc for referrals and orders as needed, and check your insurance policies to see what is paid for.

They won't work in all circumstances but for any one with functional impairments or at risk of functional impairments, it is worth at least an eval.
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Unread 03-04-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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Location: Houston, TX. Orig.from Lincoln, NE.
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I just got Orthotics last week. I'm hoping it helps my tendon to heal so I won't have to have surgery on it. I couldn't believe how much the Orthotics cost! But I guess everything is expensive these days!


Dx'd with Spinal Arthritis 09
Upper and lower Spinal Cord Stimulator surgery
Replaced IV port 09
Had surgery for IV port for IVIG infusions 07
Halo 360 & 90 procedure for Barrett's esophagus
Dx'd Chronic Axonal Neuropathy & Myopathy June 07
Dx'd IC May 2006 (after suffering for 25+ yrs!)
Gall bladder surgery Aug. 2004
Gastric Bypass Dec. 2004
Dx'd: Barrett's Esphogus July 2004
Bladder surgery 2000
Dx'd: IBS 2000
Hysterectomy (fibroids) 1999
Laminectomy 1989
Dx'd: Degerative Disk Disease 1989
Cyst removed from my ankle -twice 1986
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Unread 03-04-2008, 09:29 PM   #3
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Custom orthotics can cost up to $5K a piece.....no small chunk of change. Most do not cost that much, but enough to make the insurance companies quiver...however, they can prevent a great deal of disability if properly fitted and worn dilligently....and yes, they do take a lot of getting used to....and if they hurt, too much, you need to call the orthotist back.

The thing is, orthotics and prosthetic technology is getting better and better and even computerized, so, there is hope if you can keep your muscles as stong as possible, and those nerves as stimulated as possible so they don't totally die off.

PN can progress, regardless of any efforts we make, but, we can at least say we went down trying. It isn't a disease where all things are predictable, nor do the rules that work for other diseases always apply here.

I will push the envelope to the best of my ability, as will most folks on here, and often that envelope is just getting out of bed, swallowing a gulp of food, stepping on a numb leg hoping it holds....one day it can be very little, the next day a triumph....it is day by day. And if technology can help me in any way, I am going to use it.

I hope your orthotics help you to avoid surgury, and also, ask about orthotics to help you keep your feet and ankles from further disability, as PN is a joint killer....neurogenic arthropathy receives very little attention and it is a serious consequence of PN.
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