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Terminology

Orthoses (braces) are complex devices. Knowledge of medical conditions and practical training to assess the causes of mobility deficiencies are required to render effective orthotic treatments.

An orthosis is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of device. Patients have unique medical conditions, measurements and daily living needs. Effective orthoses are custom-made or custom fit to each patient.

Common Orthoses Types

Foot Orthoses A pair of insoles that are typically designed to offload targeted areas of the foot and/or partially re-align the lower extremities.
SMO (Supramalleolar Orthosis) An orthosis that extends just proximal to the malleoli. Provides all the ground-reaction control of a foot orthosis but can also apply three-point pressure systems in the frontal and transverse planes.
AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis) Extends from the toes to the proximal tibia. Offers full or partial control of the ankle/foot complex and may be designed to partially control knee mechanics.
KAFO (Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis) Extends from the toes to the proximal femur. Offers full or partial control of the knee, ankle, and foot, and may be designed to partially control hip mechanics.
KO (Knee Orthosis) Extends from the mid-femur to the mid-tibia. Offers full or partial control of the knee joint.
WHO (Wrist Hand Orthosis) Extends from the mid-radius to the palmar creases. Offers full or partial control of the wrist. May be designed as a WHFO (Wrist Hand Finger Orthosis) if additional control of the hand/digits is required.
Hand Orthosis Extends from the wrist to the digits. Offers full or partial control of the hand/digits.
Elbow Orthosis Extends from the proximal humerus to the distal radius. Offers full or partial control of the elbow.
Shoulder Orthosis Coverage is variable, depending on requirement. Offers partial control of the shoulder.
TLSO (Thoraco-lumbo-sacral Orthosis) Typically extends from T5 to the mid-sacral level. Offers partial control of T7-L5.
LSO (Lumbo-sacral Orthosis) Typically extends from T10 to the mid-sacral level. Offers partial control of L2-L5.
CRO (Cranial Remodelling Orthosis) A custom “helmet” that guides cranial growth in infants with positional plagiocephaly or brachycephaly.
CROW (Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker) A custom made brace that is designed to reduce pressure on the foot and the ankle for people who have a neuropathic ulcer and/or a Charcot Joint.