Nipissing Orthopaedic Laboratory Inc. defines its primary goal as the treatment of musculo-skeletal disorders, disabilities, and injuries that we all develop therough the course of our lives. We work directly with Specialists Physicians, General Practitioners, Physiotherapist and other Allied Health Care Professionals to allow the patient to live a more active and pain free life.
Every orthopedic appliance or prosthtetic device that is delivered is the product of a marriage of 5 variables, each requiring considerable knowledge and skill sets that Certified Orthotists have refined through their schooling and internship.
The 5 variables described below point out the strengths that Certified Orthotists possess. The field of Orthotics and Prosthetics has evolved dramatically in the past 25 years, especially since the arrival of central fabrication facilities and the improvement of off-the-shelf braces. These two changes have allowed other health professionals quick access to appliances which were previously only obtainable through full service facilities, such as Nipissing Orthopaedic Laboratory Inc.
This 5 variables concept is especially strong for foot orthotics, in itself a complex area of practice, but is applicable across the full gamut of orthotic devices Certified Orthotists dispenses on a daily basis.
The pathology, ailment or complaint that the patient presents with. This is the largest and most complex variable of the 5 and varies as much as people themselves so. The feet for example, can be planus or cavus (collapsed or high arches), flexible, rigid with or without neurological impairments and so on and so on. A sound clinical understanding of the myriad of acquired and genetic disorders of the neuro musculo-skeletal system is the first step in developing proper orthotic treatment protocols. The clinical training that Certified Orthotists and Prosthetists receive within this field of work is the gold standard in this domain.
Measurement and cast taking methods and techniques. This is what Certified Orthotists and Prosthetists do for a living and our livelihoods depends on a good cast and a sound understanding of the forces that we are applying to help offload, align or support a body segment or segments. We have a large toolbox of possible casting methods and sound understanding of the reasoning behind the techniques that we have chosen. Our facilities are set up to allow us to do this properly and not as an adjunct to our livelihood as in the case with other Health care professionals.
The understanding of materials for construction for these devices. Once again this is what we do best, we know dozens of plastic and foam combinations and the have worked extensively with them all our careers. Our College specialization includes the study of the physical properties of materials used in the manufacturing of orthopedic appliances. Our field of expertise allows us to know when to apply rigid materials and forces to flexible deformities and when to apply softer more accommodative materials on more rigid deformities.
Device fitting and footwear. Who is better than an orthotist at understanding how an orthosis applies forces onto the body. A fundamental part of our education revolves around device fitting and the checks that have to be made to ensure that a device is fitting and functioning properly. As well, who is better than an orthotist at understanding how a device fits into a client shoes. This is not an adjuct to what we do, it is what we do on an everyday basis. Furthermore, many orthotists control the footwear variable by recommending or selling patient appropriate orthopedic or remedial footwear. We know that the function of a lower extremity orthosis is enhanced by the utilization of specific footwear which can also includes custom footwear modifications. Our knowledge of this variable is at the core of our main competency.
Follow up. With very few exceptions, we make our own devices and we are set up to properly follow-up with our clients in order to make the necessary modifications our clients require. Maintenance of a device through follow-ups is a critical. We are set up to do this best by the very nature of the facilities we operate.