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What to Expect

An orthopedic brace or orthosis is a device used to control, guide, limit, and/or immobilize an extremity (arm or leg), joint, or body segment to facilitate rehabilitation, control pain, or promote healing. To receive a brace from Audubon Orthotic & Prosthetic Services, you must have a prescription from your treating physician.

Bracing can be a confusing process for patients. That’s why Audubon wants to make it as easy and painless as possible. We are dedicated to you, our patients, and strive to provide the superior care you deserve.

For more information on what to expect when you come to one of our Colorado Springs offices, please call us at (719) 632-7669 for our south location or (719) 867-7335 for our north campus.

Orthoses

Receiving a Custom Orthosis

For the head, neck, back, arms and legs: To create your custom brace, we will need a mold of the affected body part. This can be as easy as getting a set of measurements or as complicated as needing a cast.

In most cases our practitioners will use fiberglass to mold the area of your body that requires bracing. It will take approximately five minutes for the casting material to dry, at which time the practitioner will remove the cast. We then use this cast to create a mold for your custom brace.

For the feet: In some cases it is necessary to mold the feet, especially if you are receiving foot orthotics. This is a simple process in which the practitioner will place your feet into soft moldable foam. The type of molding required varies based upon the complexity of the brace and if it is custom or non-custom.

When you arrive for your initial visit, the practitioner will inform you of what molding process is required and guide you through how he will be molding you.

Most of our devices are custom made by hand, a craftsmanship that takes a bit of time. We do our best to prepare custom devices within two weeks of your initial visit.

When you come in to receive your orthosis, your practitioner will have you “try it out” by doing a variety of activities in our office. We will make any necessary adjustments to ensure it fits perfectly and is comfortable for you.

With all custom bracing, follow-up visits are required to ensure proper fit and function. These visits are included in the initial price of the brace.

Some braces function inside of a shoe. While your brace is customized and trimmed to the exact size and shape of your foot, it takes up extra room in your shoe, which means you will need a new pair of shoes.

Receiving an Off-the-Shelf Orthosis

If your doctor prescribed a non-custom device or off-the-shelf orthosis, your wait can be much shorter. Our walk-in clinic can fill your prescription without an appointment. We carry a large inventory of prefabricated devices so you can receive your brace the day of your initial visit.

If we do not have a prescribed non-custom brace in stock, we can order it for you. Delivery may take up to two weeks. If you would like to receive your brace sooner than that, we can arrange for expedited shipping at an additional charge.

All braces come with a 90-day adjustment warranty, which includes any necessary adjustments or replacement due to defect. Orthoses are considered one-time-use products; once the device leaves our office it is non-returnable unless there is a manufacturer defect.

If the brace is defective, we will exchange it for the same product. Most braces are covered by insurance with some exceptions. One of our team will inform you of your financial responsibility before you see the orthotist.

Types of Orthotic Bracing

We offer a wide range of orthoses for the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, neck, back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. For details, see Orthotic Services.

Prostheses

Receiving Your Custom Prosthesis

Each patient’s situation is different. The length of time it takes to start the following process after your amputation depends on the length of time it takes your residual limb and incision site to heal.

Your doctor will decide when you are sufficiently healed and ready to begin the process. Usually each visit occurs a week apart.

Visit One: Evaluation and Casting

At your first visit we will get background information from you. This includes your address, phone number, height, weight, age, prescribing physician, and medical history. We will discuss the prosthetic options available to you dependent on an assessment of your strength, activity level, and goals.

Before casting, we also take a look at your residual limb for any prominent bones, sensitive areas, and swelling. It is very important that your leg not be swollen when we take a cast of your leg to make the socket. If you are swollen, you will need to wear a shrinker to remove fluid from your limb and make another appointment for the casting of your residual limb.

Some insurance companies require that we get prior authorization before we start the procedure to make your prosthesis. If this is the case, we will do only the evaluation at this appointment. Once we get authorization, we will contact you to make an appointment to be cast.

If your leg is at a consistent volume and we have verified your insurance coverage, we will take measurements and a cast of your residual limb. We will also take measurements of your sound leg to make sure the height of the prosthesis is accurate.

Visit Two: Initial Fitting and Alignment

During this appointment you will be fit with a clear plastic socket that was made from the cast of your residual limb. This is called a “check socket” because we use it to check the fit of the prosthesis on your residual limb.

When you come to this appointment, you will need to bring with you the pair of shoes that you will be wearing the most often with your prosthesis. You will walk between the parallel bars while wearing the check socket.

At this time we will check for correct height and also change the alignment of the prosthesis. Changing the alignment means that we make changes which will improve your gait (how you walk) and give you the greatest stability and comfort.

Depending on the situations encountered during this appointment, you might need another check socket made, which will mean an additional visit.

Visit Three: Fitting and Delivery

During this appointment you will be fit with your new prosthesis along with a supply of prosthetic socks. You will be educated on the proper donning of your prosthesis and how to determine the correct number of prosthetic socks to wear.

If this is your first prosthesis, do not expect to wear it all the time right away. We recommend a short period of time the first day and gradually increase the wearing time each day.

You should check the skin on your residual limb often for signs of irritation or redness. Redness over a large area that dissipates after removal of the prosthesis is usually normal. If you have localized redness caused by pressure, please contact our facility for an appointment so that changes can be made.

We also recommend that first-time prosthetic wearers receive physical therapy. They will “teach” you how to walk and do other daily activities while wearing your prosthesis.

We will make a follow-up appointment for 1-2 weeks after you receive your prosthesis. At this time we can address any concerns or problems you are having. If you begin to experience discomfort before this appointment, call our office to schedule an earlier appointment.

If you begin to experience discomfort, remember that your prosthesis has not changed. It is more likely that your residual limb has undergone a physical change.

Your prosthesis was designed to fit your residual limb’s unique shape. If your limb is not in the socket properly or if the shape of your residual limb has changed, it can be uncomfortable. Often this discomfort can be relieved by adding or removing prosthetic socks.