http://rinella-op.com Fri, 12 Oct 2018 08:55:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0 Prosthetic Interview – Information For Amputees http://rinella-op.com/en/homebanners/prosthetic-interview-information-for-amputees/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:32:00 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2534 The following interview is a conversation between Theresa (Last Name Private) and Daniel Rinella. Theresa was kind enough to share her time with us to describe life as an amputee. Our goal is to help new and future amputees that are looking for answers. This information is not medical advice, but as health information we can try to promote ideas that you can learn about and research further… (TH will be short for Theresa as we move forward in the interview)

Introduction

DR : Hi there, is this Theresa?

TH :… speaking.

DR: Hi Theresa.

TH : How are you?

DR: Good, good, thanks a lot for taking my call. I’m just curious, I don’t want to assume anything, how much time do you think you have right now? Five minutes, ten…

TH : I’ve got time.

DR: Okay. Like I said to you on Facebook, we’re just trying to put some information together for new and even future amputees that really need more information, the ins and outs of life after amputation surgery. I’m just going to ask you some questions and then you feel free to answer them. If you don’t want to answer one just say “pass”. I totally would get that. We’re not trying to be too intrusive here…

Can you tell us Theresa how long you’ve been an amputee?

TH : I got cut on February 19th of 2014.

DR: So 2014, so relatively recently.

TH : Yeah, just two years, I just had my two year just a couple days ago actually.

DR: Okay. This is kind of a broad question, but if you had some advice that you would like to have received right when you had your surgery, what would it have been?
Is there anything that you would like to pass on to a future amputee…

TH : Oh yeah. It would have been the various pain treatments that were available, other than just you know hard drugs all the time. There are alternatives out there.

DR: Okay, so there are alternatives, can you mention some that you like or that you know about?

TH : …My case was a little bit complicated because I had a compartment syndrome. It was chronic regional pain syndrome that I had. So which means that my pain was, my brain has, is perceiving it all that much more than what it actually was, simply because I had several traumas at the same site before the amputation.

DR: So can we just take a step back? So, you’re saying is that your brain was thinking that something was worse than it really was, am I taking that the right way?

TH : Yeah, and that was from, it’s called chronic regional pain syndrome. If nerves are damaged and your brain is gonna think that either there is absolutely nothing going wrong, or it’s gonna go to an…

DR: Extreme.

TH : Yeah, extreme, and more often than not it goes to the extreme side.

DR: It sounds like your brain is probably trying to, trying to help you…

TH : Yeah, it’s trying to deal with it and so…

DR: Okay, so when you’re talking about pain, after the surgery you’re saying you had pain, and then you learned about some techniques that really helped?

TH : Yeah I’m very much into alternative medicine. Western medicine I guess we can call it, and a matter of…

DR: Is there one that you like the best that you can recommend?

TH : I’m a big believer in massage therapy.

DR: Okay, so massage therapy?

TH : Yep, always works.

DR: Is there any sort of books that someone could read that you think is a good idea? Or, if they wanted more information on that where would they go to?

TH : Just contact a registered massage therapist. They actually have, registered massage therapists [who] have training…, it’s very limited training but it still is in their training component, their education level, they do talk about massaging amputees.

DR: Interesting…

TH : Yeah.

DR: So they talk about that, that’s great.

TH :Yeah they talk about that, and so yeah it was just a matter of shopping around to find a massage therapist that was comfortable, because not everybody is, and…

DR: So they just don’t want to hurt you or something?

TH : Yeah.

DR: Okay. Can you talk about your prosthetic leg? Theresa, you’re an above knee or below knee amputee?

TH : I’m an above the knee. I’m actually a long residual above the knee.

DR: I see… Is there any sort of thoughts that you have about prosthetics? Like is something working for you better? Have you tried more than one system? Do you have any thoughts about that?

TH : I am currently in a suction system, and it seems to be working right now… With my activity level and my prosthetic guy, we are looking at possibly changing the system, simply because I’m really active and my leg still sweats a lot….

DR: Oh I see, so something different than suction you’re saying? This might be good for a very active person?

TH : Yeah.

DR: What would you tell a new amputee? Should they taper their expectations ever, or should they not? I think there’s, you know, sometimes as a prosthetist we don’t wanna get people super excited as if we’re gonna give them their leg back, there’s a difference. So from that standpoint we don’t wanna let anybody down.
Do you have any thoughts to tell a new amputee?
TH :Well when I was a new amputee nobody told me anything about what I didn’t have, like when I was learning how to walk and stuff like that, and trying different knees as to which one I was going to be settling with, I was doing things that amputees really couldn’t do.

DR: Can you say that last part again? I think the phone cut out, sorry.

TH : Oh, I just said I was doing activities, like basic walking on uneven surfaces, stuff like that. Nobody gave me a book so I had no idea what I could and couldn’t do, and so I was just doing things as I normally would. And I think because of that attitude I had I was doing things that seasoned amputees couldn’t do.

DR: So a lot of it is mental, in your opinion?

TH :Oh yeah, a lot of it is mental.

DR: Yeah so you know, you get what you focus on or want out of the situation?

TH :Yeah to a point, and like when you’re walking, it was hard for them to describe to me what you’re supposed to be doing, what you’re feeling, and all I kept saying to myself is just trust the knee, trust the knee, it’ll be there. And eventually, you know…

DR: Right, that’s some good information. So trust the…

TH : Trust the hardware.

DR: That’s the hard part, you’re saying?

TH : Yep, trust the hardware.

DR: Oh I see. So how would you go about finding a prosthetist? Some people say, “you have to love your prosthetist”, some people might not feel the same way. I’m just curious how you feel about that?

TH : You really gotta be able to openly talk with your guide, or your person, your leg guide. Like, I’m very critical about what’s going on with my leg, and I don’t, I….

DR: You don’t want to be told what you can’t do with it?

TH : Yeah, and like I’ll say, “you know what, it needs to be lifted up a tiny little bit.” Like, I’m not gonna leave until I know I’m happy with it, so I don’t feel like I’m being, like you only have a half hour or you only have an hour. No, my guy knows now that you know he books the morning with me because it’s not a matter of just you know making a small adjustment and then off and being done. No, we make the adjustment, then we walk around with it. I trial it out, and if I’m happy with it then ya, I’ll go, but if I’m not happy with it we stay until it’s done.

DR: Okay, that’s a good point that you bring up. When you go in for a visit, it sounds like there is no set time limit. It’s never really a half hour, or sometimes is it?

TH : No, never.

DR: Okay.

TH : And I’m not afraid to go, for instance last week I just had a permanent socket. I got it on Wednesday.

DR: Was that your first one?

TH : That was my second permanent one. And I saw it, I got it fitted on Wednesday with it, so that took a little while. And then I saw him again on Friday because we had to make a slight adjustment, and I’m seeing him tomorrow because we have to make another adjustment because it’s not fitting. Something is off.

DR: Okay, so this actually brings up a great point. Sometimes you read these things maybe online and someone says, “I got my leg, and the first time out of the gate it was just perfect, and I’m walking perfect now.” I think there’s some sort of an expectation level that people should know from a healthy viewpoint that you have to go back in for adjustments. And that doesn’t mean everything’s terrible; it just means that’s just the process.

TH : Because your limb, whatever it is, you know changes from day to day. As it changes from morning to afternoon.

DR: That’s a great point. So, it changes day to day? And does it change less now since the initial surgery, or does it change more, or what?

TH : No, mine apparently seems to be affected by the weather. So if it’s high humidity I seem to swell more, I’m doing a lot of activity during the day then…

DR: That’s interesting.

TH : Like mine totally changes.

DR: So how do you deal with your changes from your standpoint? Do you use socks still or no?

TH : Oh yeah I’m still using socks.

DR: Okay, do you find that some amputees that you might talk to, do they ever say, “I don’t use socks anymore, I don’t need them”? Or does every amputee use them?

TH : I think ones that I know that have been so for quite a number of years, they don’t use the socks anymore because they’ve probably shrunk.

DR: They’ve probably shrunk down you’re saying?

TH : Yeah and it also depends on your activity level. Because if all you’re doing is walking around, you know, you’re not really building the muscle that you have. And I run and I do a lot of hiking, do a lot of snowshoeing up here, and so…

DR: Are there any adaptations that you use with your prosthetic leg because of these activities that you do?…

TH : Nope I just go out and do them.

DR: Okay, so that must mean that you have a pretty active leg as it is.

TH : Yeah, well I was pretty active before because you gotta realize I’m a police officer, so I had a very active life before, and then before I lost my leg it was like three years of different surgeries and stuff, and I managed to stay in shape during that timeframe even though I had a leg that I couldn’t use. And then post-op you know I’m trying to regain all of that as well, so…

DR: So you were just an active person beforehand, period…
I think I heard you say there was a couple surgeries at least you said?

TH : Yeah I had five surgeries in three years. And it’s because I had bone tumors in my leg, and so it was all at the knee,…

DR: Okay, I remember another gentleman I was talking with said that he’s never met an amputee who has not had a revision surgery. Would you agree with that, or have you heard of people who only had one surgery and that was it?

TH : Yeah I have heard of both, no revisions, I’m looking at myself like I’m not looking at having a revision.

DR: Anymore?

TH :Yeah like since I’ve been cut I’m probably never gonna have a revision.

DR: Oh okay, so you had different surgeries for other reasons you’re saying? Or you had…

TH : I had bone tumors, and you know they cut the bone tumors out, they do the reconstruction, and then you know, like it was all trying to keep the leg. I had bone cancer so they were trying to, fighting that and…

DR: And then finally…

TH : It got to the point where we can’t do anything [more to address the tumors independently], so…

DR: So after the final surgery then that was it. There was no more revision.

TH : Yeah because after the amputation I’ve never had any, and it looks like I’m healing really well and everything is going well, so…

DR: How long did it take your residual limb to heal up? Can you talk about the healing process after a surgery?

TH : I got fitted when I was six weeks post-op. Kind of unusual. A lot of it has to come down to, again, I was in good shape.

DR: Gotcha.

TH :So if you got somebody, like I know, like I’m sort of helping another, a below the knee amputee right now, and she was in horrible shape. She was in the hospital for like nine months and she’s still not walking. You know. She was cut maybe six months after I was. Yeah, so it’s still, it all depends on your health.

DR: And you were in good shape, right?

TH :Yeah like where you were and how you were during, because some people have had, like me where I was having to deal with my bone cancer for three years, and then it also comes down to your mental wellbeing. If you, like with this girl that I’m working with here, it’s the end of the world for her.

DR: Oh I see. Yeah I don’t know if there’s any perfect way to deal with that. Do you have any thoughts on the best ways to deal with [amputation]? – I mean it’s a life-changer no doubt.

TH : Well, it is a life-changer. The way I look at, like my original diagnosis was stage four bone cancer; [with that diagnosis] you’re dead in three months.

DR: Right so having an amputation is better than being dead, right?

TH : Yeah so I look at it, the way I look at life now is like yeah, I was supposed to be dead like three years ago.

DR: Yeah, that is a positive take on the whole thing.

TH :Yeah like you know, so I’m striving,… this knee that I have is not the best one for running on, but I’m learning how to run on it because for my job, to return to full duties I need to run. So I’m going to run.

DR: So your goal is to get back to full duty?

TH : Oh yeah.

DR: Have you heard anything about water legs in general?

TH : Yes and no.

DR: Okay. I hear it every so often, people wanna go to the beach, some people just take off their current leg and just go to the beach.

TH : Yeah I do. For me cosmetically it’s not an issue. I am not afraid; I’m not ashamed of my leg. I know there’s a lot of people out there that “oh, my god I can’t leave the house without, you know…”

DR: Right, so that’s again the mindset. You know, [what you are saying is that] I’m not gonna let that hold me back. Is that [right]?…

TH : Yeah, I have a good friend of mine, she’s an above the knee as well, and she does not use a leg, and she will not be seen in public with a bare leg. Like she can’t show her stump.

DR: Oh, but she will use a leg?

TH : She won’t use a leg either.

DR: Wow that’s interesting; I would think that she would want that.

TH : Well she had some fit issues when she was younger. Like she’s been like this most of her life.

DR: Oh, so she’s just kind of used to not having one, is that right? I mean in terms of a prosthetic [leg]?

TH : Yeah she just… had issues when she was young and everything. But yeah that’s the difference between her and I is that yeah I don’t care who sees my leg. I’m like…

DR: You’re thinking, “hey I’m walking, this is good”.

TH : I’ve had like, you know, I could put a grill on it, one of those covers, one of those nice little covers, or I can put like a skin cover on it, but nah.

DR: Yeah to be honest I know some people that have prosthetic legs and I would have never even known that they had it unless they started talking about it, so, especially if you’re wearing pants or something. But…

TH :Yep, or shorten the pant leg on that side. I like to show it.

DR: One of the gentlemen that we spoke to said that his prosthetic leg, it would actually rub on his pants and it would kinda eat through pants faster. Do you agree with that or no?

TH : I agree because if you’re using a suction,…that’s what rubs through on the pants all the time.

DR: So is there any sort of way that you approach that? Is there a, you know, I don’t wanna say a cure for the pants… Is there something you can do to help the longevity of your pants so you’re not always buying new ones every five minutes?

TH : All my pants are cut short on the one side.

DR: Oh that’s what you do? Okay so you just cut them short on that one side and that’s how…

TH : That’s how I deal with it.

DR: Okay. So I mean at least that’s one way to deal with it.

TH : Or because I’m a girl I’ll wear skirts but yeah, it’s minus twenty eight degrees here so…

DR: It is?

TH :Oh yeah.

DR: Oh my gosh are you serious?

TH :It’s minus twenty eight, I don’t know […]I think it’s still like, it’s still minus ten Fahrenheit so…

DR: Wow that’s amazing.

TH :It’s still cold out here.

DR: Yeah, still cold, I think that’s a fair statement.
As we come to a close, you know I wish I had more questions right now, but is there anything else, what would you tell a new amputee who’s looking for answers? What would you tell them from your viewpoint now? Is there anything more?

TH :Yeah it would be talk to your professionals, ask lots of questions, and research.

DR: Gotcha.

TH :I did research before I did mine, so I went into, like my amputation was an elective, and I knew exactly what I was getting into, and exactly what I was… well I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen after, but I knew that it’s entirely up to me as to how things are gonna happen.

DR: You mean afterwards?

TH :Afterwards, yep.

DR: Is there any sort of resources out there that you really look to for answers? I know that the amputee coalition is a big…

TH : Yeah, I looked at them, and I looked at the War Amps.

DR: The War Amps you said?

TH :War Amps.

DR: I’ll have to check them out and kinda give people a website to look at.

TH : Here up there in Canada if you, once you see your prosthetic guy, they go into the War Amps and they send you a whole bunch of information. I got like an inch-worth of paper from them.

DR: Hopefully it was a good…

TH :It was a lot of good information. It was you know dealing with depression and talking about living a healthy lifestyle, and you know things to ask your prosthetics… it sort of did step-by-step for you.

DR: Okay, sounds good. I really appreciate it Theresa, thanks so much for your time.

TH :Hey you’re welcome.

DR: Okay, have a good day.

TH :Thanks, bye.

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Medical Experts to Offer Free Consultative Service for 7 Year Old Boy Xzayvier Burchard Mease http://rinella-op.com/en/homebanners/medical-experts-to-offer-free-consultative-service-for-7-year-old-boy-xzayvier-burchard-mease/ Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10:12:56 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2528 In response to the current news story : Army Specialist surprises little boy with huge honor that has been shared on usatoday.com
Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. will offer free consultation to the mother of Xzayvier Burchard Mease in an effort to help treat her son’s current medical condition.

There are non operative ways to help with this condition of a contracture and we are will to discuss this with the patient and his family. In a worst case scenario, we will offer free consultation services to the patient and his family regarding prosthetics as well. If people are unware of the services that can be offered, then they can not always benefit from them. – We think we can help.

If anyone has information to reach this family please have them reach out to us at 815-717-8970 or visit us online at www.rinella-op.com to learn more about how we can help.

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AFO & KAFO Leg Braces – Tinley Park & Orland Park Orthotics Company http://rinella-op.com/en/afo-foot-drop-brace-en/afo-kafo-leg-braces-tinley-park-orland-park-orthotics-company/ Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:01:32 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2436 Are you looking for more information about AFOs?

Are you searching for one in your area?

The information in this blog will help you understand more about these special leg braces and how they help people walk better.

Sometimes a person may suffer from a week ankle, in a side to side manner. This is called coronal plane ankle instability. This is how you may feel, if you roll your ankle to the side for example. Usually people rolled her ankle to be outside and an AFO can help you to stop that.
If side to side ankle instability is the issue, then an AFO’s support at the ankle will help to stop you from rolling your ankle during your gate cycle or during weight-bearing activities. Many people do not know where their ankle is in space due to sensitivity issues. If you cannot feel your foot or your ankle many people have less confidence during the gate cycle because they will not know if they rolled her ankle or not. This is a dangerous situation for people because you could be walking around with a swollen, twisted ankle and not even know it!
Whether it’s the footdrop or instability at your knee or ankle an AFO can help you walk better.  Period.
More about design…
Does your knee ever feel weak?
Does it ever feel like it might snap backward uncontrollably?
The height of the AFO comes up high enough underneath the knee (on the calf) in order to help stop the knee from snapping back. The ankle strength in the brace at the ankle section will also help to stop you need from buckling forward. – So an AFO is not only effective when it comes to side to side ankle stability, but also when it comes to helping to stop the knee from buckling or hyperextending.
People rely on these special leg braces for not only foot and ankle reasons, but also for supportive reasons for the knee.  Many people turn to an AFO first because it is not a long leg brace like a KAFO and sometimes staying with an AFO is more effective for compliance reasons, versus that of a KAFO.   We will discuss the differences between the two braces later, but there is a discussion in favor of AFOs that says “less is more”.  Meaning a brace that someone will wear is way more effective than a more supportive long leg brace that someone will not wear.
If you have any questions or concerns about the way you are walking or about AFOs, give us a call 815-717-8970
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AFO & KAFO Leg Braces – Orthotics Company Serving Orland Park & Tinley Park http://rinella-op.com/en/afo-foot-drop-brace-en/afo-kafo-leg-braces-orthotics-company-serving-orland-park-tinley-park/ Wed, 12 Oct 2016 14:43:30 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2434 Are you looking for an AFO leg brace?

Is this your first time looking into one or do you have an older one that is now worn down?

You can think of an AFO as almost a handless walking cane. We are not saying to necessarily substitute you’re walking cane immediately for an AFO but if there was a device that would help you walk better again without the use of something in your hands to sturdy your balance it would be a custom AFO.

These devices can help stop a fall from happening.  Falls happen for numerous reasons and we will cover them here…

For example, if a person has something known as a “drop foot”, they struggle to lift their foot as they swing their leg through in the gate cycle. This alone is a reason to get an AFO and this alone can be the reason why someone suffers from a fall.

Most of the time you may feel as if you can catch yourself if you began to fall, but perhaps, after one or two falls you may begin to feel differently.

An AFO can help with your foot drop when you swing your leg through and this alone can be the difference maker for you when you walk.  These special leg braces are also very concealable and you do not have to be advertising them as you might a cane or a walker when you walk.

Another reason why people can benefit from an AFO is because they may have knee weakness. You may find that your knee will buckle forward from time to time, especially so at the end of the day or when you were tired. This is because of potential weakness in your quad muscles. You may also find that your knee snaps back. This is called knee hyperextension. This is because your quad strength is overpowering compared to that of your hamstring strength.

If either of these two situations happens it’s because of the muscles that surround the knee are struggling to help keep it stable. An AFO will help to support your knee indirectly.  It does this because it helps to support the ankle, which is connected to knee movement . How you maybe wondering why your knee is affected if your ankle is supported.

Think of it like this, if you’re holding a baby tree at the base of the trunk, and you don’t want the top part of the tree to be blown over, you can have a lot of influence holding the bottom of the tree.  You can not totally control the top portion of the tree by holding the base intact, but you can definitely help the tree from blowing over…

We relate that to you, as a person, because holding on strongly at your ankle we can have a positive influence on what the knee will do.  If you are not wanting to let the tree top or your knee for example buckle go forward or snap back then holding on at the base of your leg (your ankle) can have a great influence on your outcome. –  It is most effective to help support the knee by crossing the knee joint with a KAFO leg brace, but this is a whole different situation that we will talk about in KAFO blog posts.

To continue the discussion give us a call at 815-717-8970

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Orland Park & Tinley Park, IL – Prosthetic Leg Company http://rinella-op.com/en/prosthetics/orland-park-tinley-park-il-prosthetic-leg-company/ Fri, 07 Oct 2016 23:56:10 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2431 Are you a new amputee or are you an experienced prosthetic user?

The next important question for most patients is are you happy with your prosthetic care?

Having a prosthetist that really listens to you and thinks about your needs in detail is very important.  Some people in the field know how to make prosthetic limbs to help you walk better but there is another level that you should be searching for as a prosthetic user. The prosthetist should be able to listen to all of the details and scenarios that you encounter in your daily life.  All the details of your daily life come together to help show your prosthetist what kind of leg you will need.  Details about your hand strength for example, what you do for a living, how much swelling you have on a day-to-day basis, what your goals are,… these are all very important details that need to be incorporated into the prosthesis that you will eventually be wearing and using.

There are many different styles of a prosthesis that you should be aware of.  Many of the differences have to do with the foot that you would use; some are more mobile than others. Other reasons why prostheses are generally different is the way in which they are suspended on someone’s leg.  When we referr a “suspension” we talk about the way in which it holds onto your residual limb in order for you to get the best function and security of fit.

Obviously everyone wants their prosthesis to feel sturdy and snug on their leg when they’re walking.  This is because the last thing you want is for it to come loose and you may find yourself in the falling scenario.  Nobody wants that for you, but it is possible, if your suspension is faulty or it is now loose because you’re limb has changed in shape. This is known as maturing of the residual limb.

When it is time for you to obtain a new prosthesis we can review all of your standards that you wish to incorporate into the new design. Our team of prosthetists help to navigate the uncertain world of prosthetics due to the knowledge that we have in the field.  If you would like to continue this conversation or if you would like to ask us any questions or share any concerns please feel free to give us a call.  815-717-8970

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AFO Leg Brace – Orland Park and Tinley Park, IL http://rinella-op.com/en/afo-foot-drop-brace-en/afo-leg-brace-orland-park-and-tinley-park-il/ Fri, 07 Oct 2016 22:38:40 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2428 Do you want to learn more about AFO leg braces?

Are you interested in finding a provider near you that specializes in making these walking aids?

Rinella Orthotics and Prosthetics specializes in making AFO braces.  This is an acronym that stands for ankle foot orthosis.  Orthosis being a professional term for “brace”.  We are big believers in the use of these braces for people that have foot drop and who also have other balance related issues.

You may not have fallen yet due to a walking deficit, but the thought of it might be in the back of your mind.  Many people drag their toe when they walk and this is because you may have weak muscles.  These weakened or tired muscles are typically located on the front side of your leg below your knee. These are what we call dorsiflexors, or your Tibialis Anterior muscle.  When you swing your legs through as part of your gate cycle you need muscle strength to lift your foot.  Many people lift their foot unconsciously but for those who have something called a foot drop, lifting your foot during your gait cycle may become hard to do.

Another way the AFO braces are very useful is that they help to center your weight line and thus your balance. Sometimes people have a tendency to fall forward or backward or from side to side.  This can all start at the ankle unfortunately and is something that results from postural sway.  Custom AFO braces are very useful in the regard to improving balance. They can help you to avoid a fall by helping you to center your weight line during the gate cycle.

AFOs are typically custom made to someone limb and this is the best case scenario for people because it will be the most comfortable and supportive for you while walking.  Their needs to be an intimate fit because your foot shape and size is very unique.  The height of your leg and circumferences around your calf are also very unique and this is why we promote custom when it comes to bracing.

These are probably the two biggest areas in which an AFO can help you walk better.  Of course we can get into more detail with you in person or on the phone if you have questions, but these are AFOs in a nutshell.   If you have any future questions, or concerns about your gait, give us a call at 815-717-8970

 

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AFO Leg Brace in Westmont and Downers Grove, IL http://rinella-op.com/en/homebanners/afo-leg-brace-in-westmont-and-downers-grove-il/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:52:51 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2425 Are you having trouble walking currently?

Do you need to find a company that provides AFO braces?

Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. provides off the shelf and custom AFOs to patients on a weekly basis.  These special walking aids are designed to help you walk better.

Sure, a walking cane can help you walk better to, but if you could, would you like to conceal your walking aid?  – That’s the beauty of using an AFO.

Common Uses For An AFO Leg Brace :

1.) To help hold up the foot when you walk – Many people drag their toe, due to a condition called foot drop.  (Foot drop is more of a symptom of a large condition that needs to be addressed.)   Sometimes, a person has foot drop because they are an older adult that gets tired when they walk, but usually there is a weakness or paralysis in the muscles that the foot as you try to clear your limb in gait.

2.) Balance – People can sometimes have balance issues either from “front to back” or from “side to side”.  AFOs can help to reduce balance problems by centering your weight line.  This is performed in the casting process and when the AFO leg brace is provided to the patient.  – Many people fall each year due to balance problems and an AFO can really help in this regard.

An AFO can basically help to stop the moments that start a fall.   This is either due to a person’s toe dragging when they swing their leg through in gait, or due to an instability issue at the foot and ankle.   If you can stop the moments that begin a fall or a toe drag, you have just moved toward a safer gait pattern.

Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. provides custom and prefabricated AFOs to  patients on a regular basis.  If you want to walk better and have a script from your doctor for a new AFO leg brace then we can help you.   We can provide prefabricated AFOs, but usually we provide custom made ones for the following reasons :

1.) Your heel size and shape is very unique.

2.) Your midfoot width and arch height are also very unique.

3.) Your forefoot width and overall foot length are unique as well.

When you combine all of these things and realize that the brace will need to have a snug fit on the limb, you can see why many off the shelf designs have a shorter shelf life.

Thanks so much for reading our blog and if you have any future questions give us a call at 815-717-8970

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Prosthetic Leg – Prosthetics in Westmont & Downers Grove, IL http://rinella-op.com/en/prosthetics/prosthetic-leg-prosthetics-in-westmont-downers-grove-il/ Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:16:59 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2423 Do you need to find a reliable company for prosthetic service?

Or, perhaps, you might have a loved one that is in need of this kind of service?

Finding the right prosthetics provider matters.  The relationship between a new or experienced amputee is a unique one.  The loss of the limb can leave patients with a lot of questions and many times these questions are unanswered until the amputee meets their prosthetist.

Your physician can often times talk with you about the reasons why an amputation was necessary and you might begin the healing process in a hospital setting.  However, many of the daily questions / answers need to come from a licensed prosthetist.

Common questions that asked to Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. by both new and experienced amputees :

1.) How can I best address the swelling that I have in my residual limb?

2.) Is there anything I can do about the tenderness I have in the residual limb?

3.) What do I do if there is space in the prosthetic socket that I am using?

4.) I am currently using a pin locking system, are there any other suspension systems available to prosthetic users today?

5.) Will my insurance cover a new prosthesis?

These are some of the most common questions that people ask us each week.  Each of these questions very important and need to be addressed individually with a patient.   While we would really like to answer each and every one of them for you specifically here in detail, there will be no perfect answer yet in some cases because we have not met you and understood your unique situation.

To help and try to answer the questions in general we would say that :

1.) The use of a residual limb shrinker will help to reduce swelling that a person has after an amputation.  If you elevate the leg this may also help to reduce the swelling.

2.) While we want to give the exact answer on how to reduce tenderness in someone’s residual limb, this is a harder one to answer.  We would try to understand why you have these tenderness, to start with.  Sometimes, desensitization massage can help, but other times the issues run deeper.

3.) If there is space in your current prosthetic socket, you can try to use prosthetic socks to take up the space.  However, you can not always just add more socks.  At some point you will need a new prosthetic socket if the space is constantly there.  Extra space could cause a lot of problems in the long run and we try to help people avoid issues by either fabricating a new socket or by reducing a void with a prosthetic sock.

4.) There are various types of suspension systems available to patients today.  A pin locking system, a passive vacuum or an elevated vacuum style suspension all present various pros and cons for patients.  Some are simple to apply and that is all a patient wants to get from A to B, while other suspension systems are more hands on and provide a fit that can make the socket feel more connected to the residual limb.  – Find the best socket choice and prosthesis for you depends on many factors that our prosthetist can review with you.

5.) In order to know if a prosthesis or component of a prosthetic leg will be covered by insurance, we will need to contact your insurance.  Everyone’s coverage type is unique and each plan is unique as well.  We would need to verify insurance benefits when you come into our office for treatment to let you know your personal coverage levels.

Thanks so much for reading our blog!  To continue the discuss give us a call at 815-717-8970

 

 

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Prosthetics in Orland Park, IL – Walk Again http://rinella-op.com/en/prosthetics/prosthetics-in-orland-park-il-walk-again/ Wed, 05 Oct 2016 14:23:05 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2421 Are you looking for a new prosthetic provider?

Do you live or work near Orland Park, Illinois?

Finding the right Prosthetics provider is extremely important.  When you work with the prosthetics provider anywhere, whether it is in Orland Park, IL or Orlando, Florida, you should feel comfortable the moment that you walk into their office. They should listen to your concerns and answer all of your questions.  – Thaey should also help you to find a way to deal with and a edema issues that you are currently dealing with.  Most amputees have had some level of swelling challenges.

Many amputees have come from other companies because of the fact that they do not have the sense of trust that they need to engage in a long term relationship with their prosthetist.
If you are a new amputee they can help you get up to speed with various pieces of information.  What do we mean by this?  The prosthetist that is local to you in Orland Park can help you to find various support groups to help you.  If you wish you can find your own support group locally with us, or we can help you find one online to help you answer your questions. This is more of a social interaction but it is still very useful. –  There are groups on Facebook that we are happy to share with you.  Posing various questions, at any hour of the day, on a social level, can be helpful to an amputee.   However, when it comes to be extremely important aspects of providing you with the new leg it is best to ask your prosthetist certain questions, especially about componentry and design.

There are many different styles out there for prostheses such as a pin locking systems, passive vacuum or an elevated vacuum for example. Each of these provides certain benefits, while also having a certain level of complication that the user will have to be comfortable with. None of them are impossible to deal with but there are varying degrees of details that you will have to be comfortable with on a daily basis when using whatever system that you and your prosthetist choose. – The truth is that some people love the details of the high tech componentry while others do not. That’s just the simple truth of it all.  Some people do not need the Olympic style running leg and they would rather use a more simple system to walk from A to B. Sometimes less is actually more.

At Rinella Orthotics &  Prosthetics, we will help you to determine which style of prosthesis is best for you. This information only comes about after a conversation with the amputee to determine their likes and dislikes.  If you have any questions about your current prosthesis or if you are a new amputee give us a call.  We will talk with you and figure out what will make you feel comfortable, while being useful at the same time.   Thanks for reading this blog post.

Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc.  815-717-8970

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AFO Orland Park – Brace Company Explains Why These Leg Braces Help http://rinella-op.com/en/afo-foot-drop-brace-en/afo-orland-park-brace-company-explains-why-these-leg-braces-help/ Wed, 05 Oct 2016 14:05:05 +0000 http://rinella-op.com/?p=2419 Does your foot drag at all when you walk?

Do you ever worry that you will fall when you walk?

You might not always worry that you’ll fall, but maybe at the end of the day when you’re more tired, your balance and foot drop combined can make you feel that the task of walking has become more precarious.  It all depends on the person and the severity of their foot drop or balance problem, but even the shortest distance can feel unsafe sometimes.

In your past, you’ve probably walked past at least 50 people that have worn an AFO and you never knew they had it on. These kinds of braces are very concealed and that is one of the major benefits of this kind of walking aide.  As opposed to a cane that is advertised to the public every time a person uses one.  AFOs are almost always discreet and can be one of the only things that will help take you off of a walking cane or walker.  (Consult your physical therapist, orthotist and doctor before just stopping the use of a walker or cane).
Everyone is different so it will be important for you to have a consult with Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. in order to determine what level of support that you need.
There are many different kinds of AFO’s available.  Some offer more support, some offer less, other AFOs have hinges as well. The point is, we only give you as much support and plastic at the ankle as you need. We don’t want to over support you but at the same time under supporting someone when they walk is also not helpful.
One of the other important factors that a person has to remember when using an AFO is that they should always go inside of the shoe whenever your foot is on the ground. These braces typically do not have tread on them and is important for you to incorporate them into a shoe. Many people think that they will have to go out and get new shoes but this is not necessarily the case. It is best to wait to get new shoes. Why do we say this? –  What you can do is have the custom brace made to your size and shape then you can take the brace, to the store and try on shoes.  That way you are not guessing as to what shoe would work best with your brace. Often times, people will go to the store before hand and buy two or three pairs of shoes only to have to return at least one pair.
We hope this information has helped you learn a little bit more about AFOs.  Please see our other blog posts that will shoe you in depth the different kinds that are available.  The information in this blog will help you become informed before you come to your first orthotics appointment.
If you have questions about obtaining a new brace or if you wish to have one repaired feel free to contact our office.  815-717-8970.
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