prosthetics and orthotics video


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


An Orthosis which used to stabilize the ankle joint of the stroke patient.


Stroke is a term used to describe a cerebral vascular accident (CVA) that involves either ischemic or hemorrhagic lesion to the brain. This neurological disorder is a leading cause of death and disability for people over the age of 60.Unfortunately there is no cure for stroke ,emphasis continues to be placed on prevention.

In arteriosclerosis, the arteries can become hardened and brittle. A patient with high blood pressure may rupture one of these fragile cerebral arteries. The interrupted blood flow can cause ischemia to an area of the brain. Other causes of ischemia resulting in stroke are;

-thrombus, blood clot that forms in a cerebral artery blocking the flow of blood.

-tumour, this can cause a compression of cerebral blood flow.

-embolus, a clot formed and then transported to the brain

-deformed blood vessels (aneurism)

Arteriosclerosis- Is the thickening and hardening of arteries due to the build up of calcium deposits on the insides of artery walls.

Atherosclerosis- Is a similar condition due to the build up of fatty substances,both have similar effects on the circulation of the blood throughout the body.

Ischemia- Is a condition in which blood flow(and thus oxygen) is restricted to a part of the body.

Brain cells, starved of vascular flow, will die within minutes without future regeneration. Therefore the degree of loss of brain function is dependant on two factors.

(a) The Extent of ischemia present in the brain
(b) The location in the brain and the resultant loss in that area.

Neurological deficits are varied and will change with time. Patients who survive the acute stage will generally show improvement. Any disability seen after six months will usually be permanent, how ever the paralysis to one side of the body (hemiplegia)is the most visible sign to the Orthotist.

The aims of Orthotics rehabilitation are directed towards the following;
(i) Retaining range of motion in all affected joints
(ii) Preventing contractures
(iii) Promoting weight bearing
(iv) Establishing control over balance
(v) Encouraging early ambulation and independence.

Rehabilitation for stroke patients will usually include a combination of efforts by physical and occupational therapist,Orthotist,psychologist,social worker,physiatrists,orthopaedic surgeon and other professions.


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    Mirror therapy was first described by V.S. Ramachandran, but has since been proven in the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) / RSD, and stroke rehabilitation, as well as for hand and foot rehabilitation following an injury or surgery. is a good place to start; it has lots of information and a link to where you can purchase a mirror box.

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