When illness, injury or disability strikes, the loss of normal function can be a devastating blow to you and your family. You may be unable to move around safely and easily, unable to work or care for yourself or your family, unable to enjoy life to its fullest. When this impairment involves your arms, legs or spine it may be necessary to provide support with an orthotic device, sometimes called a brace. Orthoses come in many styles and materials. They can be either pre-fabricated or custom made, simple or complex, lightweight or heavy-duty. There are many options and features to consider, and it takes a highly trained individual to properly assess the situation and formulate a plan for the best result. This clinician called an orthotist, and the best orthotists have a high level of education and training. Here at Bio-Medic Appliances, Inc. all of our practitioners are university educated in orthotics and prosthetics, and are credentialed by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (www.abcop.org). Orthotists with ABC certification will display the designation of CO or CPO after their name. At Bio-Medic Appliances, Inc. we employ only ABC certified or board-eligible practitioners.
What to expect when you visit us
At your first visit, you will be evaluated for your device. The evaluation consists of a physical examination, movement analysis, muscle testing and a thorough discussion of your physical needs, your environment and your lifestyle.
Here are some of the questions we may ask you at your first appointment:
- What kind of work do you do?
- What is your home/work environment like?
- What kinds of leisure activities do you participate in?
- What other devices, if any, have you tried in the past?
- What did you like or dislike about your previous device(s)
- What are your goals and expectations from us at Bio-Medic Appliances?
After this evaluation, we will recommend the options that are most likely to meet your needs and we will discuss the effectiveness and possible outcomes for each option.
Finally , with your input, we will select a course of treatment. Whenever possible, we will confer with your doctor or physical therapist to help us make the best decisions.
If your device is fairly routine and it is something that is likely to be covered by insurance, we may take measurements of impressions at your first visit in order to get started on fabrication and to save you an additional appointment at our facility.
If we are unsure whether your insurance will cover your device or to what extent, we will take information from you to work on receiving an insurance authorization. Once the device has been authorized, we will contact you to set up another appointment.
If we have not already taken measurements, casts or impressions, we will do so at this second visit.
If we took measurements, casts or impressions at your last appointment, your devce should be ready for fitting and possibly delivery at this appointment. We will check the fit of the device, make any necessary adjustments and give you the information you need to use your device properly and comfortably.
Bringing Others With You
Physical therapists and family members are welcome to attend any visit, especially the first appointment. If necessary, appointments can be scheduled at a physician’s or therapist’s office. We have lots of fun toys to keep children busy during visits. If the appointment is for a chilc, and if you know that your child may feel anxious, please feel free to bring a favorite DVD, videotape or toys while he or she is seen.
When you are provided with an orthosis it may require several visits to achieve the best results. You will initially be seen for an evaluation and possible casting or measurement. Your next visit will be for a fitting, which includes adjustments and training you in the use of your orthosis. Once you have taken delivery of the device, you will need to return for follow up, both short term and long term, and should return for regular follow up visits for as long as you use your brace. This will ensure that as you or your condition change over time your device is adjusted to ensure the best possible results.