February 12, 2018

Expert Q&A – Braces and Artificial Limbs

Wilder LaFond, Director of CarePartners Orthotics & Prosthetics, answers some common orthotics questions.

Q: What is CarePartners Orthotics & Prosthetics and how can they help?

A: We’re a team of highly trained clinicians and other experts who make and fit braces and artificial limbs. Our patients regain independence and quality of life after losing a limb or the use of a limb from conditions like trauma, cerebral palsy, diabetes and stroke. We also help patients who have a deformity or pain.

Q: How do I get started?

A: We start with an evaluation including measurements, tests and impressions. Because most devices are made in-house, we walk to the next room to discuss unique requirements with our team.

Q: What’s a custom fit and will I get one?

A: Every brace or limb is custom fitted, if needed. A 3D digital scanner adds to our toolkit for accurate impressions, along with more traditional methods. Some new materials can be remolded to achieve a better fit as your shape or needs change, and adjustments can be made any time.

Q: Aren’t all artificial limbs about the same?

A: Nope. New materials, computers and techniques customize devices for any lifestyle. For example, an artificial hand can be fitted with a knife suited for the next Iron Chef while an artificial foot providing energy return is an option for runners. Accessories and performance options return patients to work and passions, while cosmetic choices add style.

Q: My mom just needs a knee brace, can I just pick one up?

A: These devices are highly adaptable and adjustable, requiring an evaluation, fitting and patient education for care and comfort.

Q: What happens if my brace just doesn’t feel right anymore?

A: Bodies are constantly changing. No matter how long it’s been, call us for an adjustment. We help get the right fit. There’s usually no charge for adjustments or follow ups.

CarePartners Orthotics & Prosthetics is the region’s leader in providing the finest comprehensive care and assistive devices for people living with amputation or disability, from infants to the elderly.

For more information, visit carepartners.org, or to set up an appointment, call (828) 254-3392.