26 May 2016
Last week saw a major conference for public health workers, Primary Care and Public Health 2016, open its doors to thousands of healthcare professionals. So we’re excited that our very own Orthotist, Sam Walmsley, was invited to speak about the groundbreaking work we’re doing with our Gait Laboratory and the Elaine Owen Clinic – and demonstrate the impact our techniques are achieving for our patients.
Sam took the opportunity to tell delegates all about how our Gait Laboratory (a facility that would usually only be available in teaching hospitals), combined with Elaine’s internationally renowned expertise, is achieving real results for patients who are dealing with conditions that affect their strength and movement. Elaine is already widely known for her work with children with movement disorders – often caused by conditions like cerebral palsy and spina bifida - which she has been pioneering for 20 years in the NHS.
Movement Disorders: How the Gait Laboratory and Elaine Owen Clinic Help
The Gait Laboratory equips us to analyse movement to a very sophisticated level. That in turn enables us to produce orthotic devices that give children the rigid support they need to develop bone and muscle strength correctly. This is so important not only in ensuring that children can achieve the maximum movement possible, but also in improving quality of life for not just individual children but for the whole family.
The correct orthotic devices don’t just facilitate improved movement. Any parent whose child needs intensive physiotherapy will know that, nowadays, a lot of the exercises, massage and stretching falls to the parents to conduct on a daily basis. It’s a lot to handle and can put a lot of strain on everyday life. But, in many cases, correctly designed and fitting AFOs, splints and braces can help to achieve ongoing physical benefits simply through the process of wearing the device.
Not to mention the benefits of ensuring that children are comfortable and confident in their orthoses. Knowing that your child is not in pain, that their device fits properly, that they feel confident going about their everyday life, can participate at school and feel generally happy with their treatment can make a huge difference to parents and siblings alike.
In orthotic treatment, our priority is to ensure the correct development of bones and muscles – which also has the impact of reducing the likelihood of invasive surgery later in life. At LOC we are extremely committed to the results that Elaine has demonstrated through her innovative techniques, which are born out of a lifetime’s experience as a practitioner.
One example of this is our lovely young patient Aran, aged 10, who first visited us after undergoing selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery in the USA. Diagnosed with diplegia cerebral palsy, Aran was in need of intensive rehabilitation on his return to the UK, as is the case for the majority of patients who undergo this surgery.
Orthotics play a large part in this rehabilitation, but medical opinion varies as to what the best course of action is. In the USA, the belief is that recovering patients should be put into normal footwear as soon as possible. Elaine’s approach is different, providing bespoke AFO devices that give much more rigid support to different areas of the lower body.
The result? After years of very limited movement, Aran took his first independent steps just a week after receiving his first AFOs from LOC. Two months later and Mum Kurda tells us that he can now walk for five metres independently – something that until recently she never thought he would do.
We’re proud of what Aran has achieved through a combination of his and his family’s determination and perseverance, surgical intervention and our orthotic rehabilitation programme – and Sam was delighted to be able to share these advances with the UK’s health professionals at Primary Care and Public Health 2016.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Kingston Upon Thames location:
We also have the Gait Laboratory for orthotics patients and Onsite Manufacturing for speedy turnarounds and adjustments whilst you wait.
Clothing worn is dependent on which clinic you are attending. You will be sent a letter detailing what clothing to wear along with all other details prior to any appointment at the clinic.
Working with LOC and Elaine has been a great experience – they really take the time to look at your child and understand their individual challenges and needs. For parents who are in the same position that we were, I would say do your research – see what clinics are available near you and what the costs are, but my feeling is it’s worth every penny.
After 10 years of daily physiotherapy and swimming, not to mention SDR, hamstring and tendon lengthening, we have finally achieved independent walking – it was a mother’s day gift that would take some beating.
LOC’s video vector technology measures exactly where Austin’s weight is being distributed, how his hips are moving and how his legs are moving. It’s those insights that have made his new AFOs so effective. Even within a few days, LOC’s splints have had more impact on his independence of movement than anything else we have done.
Since his new orthoses, his change has been remarkable. He is more mobile and can walk independently. Jason is now walking indoors and outdoors and is unrestricted. He is now properly enjoying the summer sunshine for the first time in a few years with no complaints of pain.
It has been a breath of fresh air – LOC’s ability to accommodate Sophie’s circumstances and manufacture her orthotics so quickly has taken a huge amount of potential stress away. Alan talks to Sophie as well - she looks forward to seeing him. He has even been able to fulfil her request to have her SMOs decorated with unicorns! It makes her feel special and much happier about wearing them.
I can now go a mile without having to stop, so it is a lot better and I’m walking in a regular pattern now. The orthotic fits perfectly because LOC took proper mouldings and photographs; they were very thorough.
Amelia was always looking for something to hold on to, now she runs around. Sam really puts in that extra effort to make the clients happy. I’d recommend LOC because they have all the equipment and extremely professional staff who have been trained by world-renowned physiotherapist Elaine Owen.
Lilac just flits about now. Every day she's getting stronger and our expectation now. We are absolutely with The London Orthotics Consultancy for the long haul now. We’ve found a business that can provide what we need and who we trust, and it’s the trust that's the most important thing to us.
My left knee hyperextends and Sam felt he could improve that condition with a different design of brace and also improve my gait with some other adjustments. The brace was such a success that I used it solely after receiving it. I am most thankful to Sam and his colleagues for their dedication to my case and their prompt assistance, which changed a potential disaster into a great tourist visit.
Multidisciplinary teams in business will sit down together and discuss a project with all parties concerned, each adding their particular expertise and insight. This is what it is like at London Orthotic Consultancy (LOC) but on a more personal level: Teamwork is evident. The camaraderie and mutual respect are undeniable. The attention to the smallest achievement is uplifting.
The orthotics help support my foot. Not only that, they have endured daily use, training for the Marathon des Sables, the race itself and they are still going! I am amazed that they survived the MDS and they are still being used today.