06 October 2021
Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day! It’s a really important event for the millions of people living with the condition worldwide, as they come together to create awareness and action around this lifelong neurological condition.
This is an event very close to our hearts at LOC. We specialise in using bespoke orthotics (in particular lower limb orthotics) to help cerebral palsy patients build mobility, strength, stability and independence.
To celebrate, we’re reflecting on just some of the many wonderful patients who have walked through our clinic doors over the past few years, and the amazing results they have achieved through a combination of wider surgical and therapeutic support, our orthotic interventions, and their own positivity and determination.
We first met Lilac in 2018 when she was aged just five. She may be little at the moment, but this young lady is already a huge character! Born six weeks premature, Lilac’s survival hung in the balance, but she defied all the odds and has continued to do so ever since.
When she was first diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by brain damage at birth, Lilac’s parents were told she would never walk or talk. But, through the support of her parents and therapeutic team, SDR surgery and LOC’s role in orthotic SDR surgery rehabilitation, Lilac has surpassed every expectation.
Literally coming on in leaps and bounds every day, Lilac is now so mobile that her parents are optimistic she will eventually be able to walk independently without any mobility aids at all.
Four-year-old Sofia has always managed with her NHS lower limb orthotics, but when lockdown hit the pressures on the NHS affected her ability to get a new pair of properly fitting splints. So, mum Clare took her to see John Turner, our orthotist at our LOC Manchester clinic.
John built Sofia a made to measure set of ankle foot orthotics, focusing on support, comfort, and aligning the orthotics with the right wedged footwear for a perfect fit. The result has been fantastic. Not only is Sofia more confident and comfortable in her new AFOs, she is also able to walk independently during family days out, play in the garden with her sister, and on the pathway to become even more independent and mobile as time goes on.
One of twins, six-year-old Austin was born at just 25 weeks. Both twins spent the first four months of their little lives in intensive care. For Austin, this led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy at the age of two and a half.
Just like Lilac, Austin received SDR surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of a staggering eight major surgeries he has undergone in his life. Thanks to fundraising by his parents, family, and friends, he received various therapeutic interventions, but he was still very unsteady on his feet and crawled most of the time.
LOC treated Austin at our OSKAR clinic, using our gait lab to measure exactly how his legs and hips were aligned and designing a tailor-made set of AFOs which helped Austin to get up and walking independently within just four months. Austin’s dad, Bradley, is thrilled with his progress and hopes that his next milestone will be to walk independently outside for longer amounts of time.
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.
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.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Cambridge location:
For more information about The Beechwood Complementary Medical Practice, please visit The Beechwood Practice.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Bristol location:
For more information, visit Litfield House Medical Centre.
LOC’s clinic is based in the University of Salford’s Podiatry Department and provides treatments for orthotics, scoliosis, pectus deformities, positional plagiocephaly and club foot.
It is also the base for LOC’s northern OSKAR clinic which is run by Sam Walmsley, clinical director of LOC, in conjunction with Elaine Owen MBE MSc SRP MCSP.
Due to COVID-19, we have had to temporarily close the Salford clinic and are operating out of another clinic in Bolton.
508 Blackburn Rd,
For more information, please visit The Good Health Centre
If you have a child with cerebral palsy and you are interested in exploring LOC’s orthotic assistance, please contact us to arrange a consultation. We also treat the symptoms of cerebral palsy in adults and would be happy to discuss how we can help patients of any age build mobility, stability and independence.