Orthotics for Spinal Conditions
Orthotics Plus provides professional orthotic services to support people living with a spinal injury or condition. We provide spinal orthoses for acute-injuries, chronic conditions and also post-operative management.
Our role as Orthotists is typically related to the management of an injury, deformity and pain in the spine.
We work collaboratively with other healthcare providers (i.e Orthopedic surgeons) to provide holistic care for our patients, which is often the case for complex spinal disorders.
Our spinal related services are available at both of our Melbourne clinics.
The type of spinal brace used is aligned with the injured spinal segment and the severity of that injury. Spinal Orthotics should assist people with their stability whilst minimising movements (such as bending over) if that serves the mechanism of injury.
An example of this is braces used to treat fractures to the anterior vertebral body. These devices will support the spine, prevent further loss of height of the fracture, reduce pain and aim to reduce/prevent a kyphotic deformity from occurring.
For a less severe injury of the lower back, a brace will provide abdominal support to help that person stand upright and move with less pain.
How do Spinal Orthotics Work?
Whenever a person experiences a structural issue with their spine due to injury or illness, management may be invasive (i.e surgery) or conservative, depending on the presentation and the decisions of the treating clinician or doctor. Orthotics can be useful in either of these cases.
The overarching objective of spinal orthotics is to:
- Immobilize the spine as required – to provide an opportunity for healing
- Introduce biomechanical support – adopt the role of weakened body parts
- Facilitate appropriate movement
- Correct spinal deformities/alignment – particularly helpful for the function of nerve roots, senses, pain levels and overall mobility
- Prevent recurring injury
- Prevent further deformity
- Reduce pain and anxiety
- In some cases – minimise loss of height/posture
Appropriate Referrals for Orthotics Plus
People are generally referred to Orthotics Plus for conservative management of various spinal conditions. We provide a range of supports for all areas of the spine, from the upper cervical through the lower lumbar.
We are mostly appropriate to help treat acute injuries, pre & post operation support, as well as degenerative conditions (i.e. osteoarthritis leading to spinal segments collapsing).
Please contact us to confirm whether we’re an appropriate provider for you.
Patients would then visit Orthotics Plus for individualised treatment, scan and Orthotic fitting. We will store your medical record on file and support you in the recovery process.
Spinal Orthotics FAQ
Spinal supports are a focus for our Orthotists as the outcome of their case can potentially change a person’s life forever.
We are commonly involved in cases where a person is experiencing pain or neuropathic pain because of degenerative conditions who are undergoing surgery.
These patients visit Orthotics Plus for the fitting of an appropriate brace to wear postoperatively. We follow the protocols as instructed by the surgeon/neurosurgeon.
The brace provides a degree of biomechanical support, protects the surgical site and subsequently lowers pain/anxiety levels. This is a wonderful outcome!
You will receive an instruction booklet that includes
- Detailed information on how to remove and fit the Orthotics
- Information for care staff
- How long to wear the Orthotics per day
- How long to wear the Orthotics over the long term
- Follow up appointments
- Weight bearing and practical advice around showering and other activities of daily living
Our Orthotists can support you via follow up appointments and communications as necessary.
In these cases, the spinal brace should be proportionate to the back pain, as well as something the patient is willing to wear.
As such, general back pain may be treated with a slimline brace (such as a Sacro-Cinch belt) that can fit under a person’s clothes and be conducive to their lifestyle.
It is important to note, general back pain may have contributing factors from the lower limb, so a holistic assessment would be taken.
Where appropriate we would also suggest consulting with a physiotherapist to improve strength and conditioning of the back and core as this may assist with pain.
Please discuss with us if you would like a referral to someone from our trusted network.
We would suggest that unstable spinal fractures are typically outside the scope of our Orthotic clinic and we would manage these injuries with a neuro or orthopaedic surgeon.
With fractures and acute injuries, we’re heavily guided by our referrers because there is a high degree of risk. If the surgeon feels that we can contribute, then we will, and vice versa.
We are currently not best suited to assist patients with scoliosis, especially adolescents.
We suggest contacting the Royal Children’s Hospital as the best point of contact.,