The advent of carbon fibre has allowed the creation of a new range of orthoses that are not only lighter and less bulky, but also stronger than traditional makes. In KAFOs weight reductions of up to 30% are normal. This kind of weight reduction has an immediate positive clinical impact, particularly for patients with polio or post-polio syndrome.
There are many types of carbon fibre manufacturing processes. The London Orthotic Consultancy (LOC) uses a company that has learned its trade from Formula One racing. It uses a process that produces an incredibly strong, yet light, product. This has huge advantages in orthotics, as it can reduce the weight and bulk of an orthosis. Due to the reduction in weight of the orthosis, our clients can reduce their energy expenditure, which allows them to walk faster or for longer distances.
The inherent increased strength of the material allows us to manufacture orthoses that were not previously possible. We can use them to completely offload an ankle joint by taking weight through the knee.
Carbon fibre also has excellent storage and return properties. While walking, the force created by an individual's momentum is stored and, as one moves forward, this energy is released, giving the user a 'push' start. As one of our clients put it: "You have put the spring back into my step." The reduced bulk of carbon fibre orthoses has another advantage - it means they fit a wider selection of footwear and for some of our clients that is the most important factor when choosing a new orthosis.
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.
An insole is a contoured orthotic device which alters the characteristics and biomechanics of the foot and ankle area. Biomechanics are concerned with mechanical laws and how they affect the living body, especially the musculoskeletal system.
They are removable devices, often made from plastic, that are designed to fit inside a shoe to provide additional support for your feet. As well as offering shock absorption, an insole can help distribute the weight of your body more effectively across the foot and can be made bespoke to cover a range of biomechanical conditions.
If you have symptoms in your feet, ankles, hips or your lower back that are intermittent or were not there to start with in early life, and have started to cause you pain over a period of time, bespoke orthotic insoles could be an excellent option.
If you have already tried rest, icing, compression and elevation and your feet have not recovered, we recommend a biomechanical assessment to consider the possibility of insoles. They are a non-invasive approach to treatment and in many cases, are a great option for symptoms that are not severe enough to warrant surgical intervention. Alternatively, they can be considered as an option prior to surgery.
We will send patients away when an insole is not appropriate, if a patient is suffering with iliotibial band syndrome for example, the problem can be helped with physiotherapy and a stretching programme. That’s what our biomechanical assessment is all about; determining whether there would be any benefit from altering the alignment of your feet.
Sam Walmsley discusses Pectus Treatment for Carinatrum and Excavatum at LOC with The Academy of Physical Medicine
To mark World Polio Day, here are some of LOC’s patients whose orthotic treatment has had a huge impact on their comfort, mobility, and independence.
Success stories for World Cerebral Palsy Day
Cerebral Palsy conditions, symptoms and how Orthotics can help
22-month-old Scarlett, who has periventricular leukomalacia, struggled to stand independently because of the condition, but her new AFOs from our Bolton clinic are making a world of difference!
An introduction to LOC's new website and what to look out for
Neurotronic KAFO is game-changing for post-polio patient, Sarah
LOC is launching its scoliosis treatment package using the Gensingen Brace by Dr Weiss® in our Cambridge Clinic. Find out more and book a free assessment on launch day!