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Gary Horton, Certified Orthotist, opened Horton’s Orthotic Lab, Inc. on August 1, 1981.  He opened the lab because he wanted to have an orthotic facility dedicated to quality orthotics and quality service.  He knew what the word quality meant to him and felt like he could offer that to Little Rock. Horton’s started with 4 employees with 1 office in Little Rock on South Look Street, after 4 years in business he relocated to 12th street.  The property he bought, had an old house on it, and he was going to have it torn down. The Architect convinced him to restore the house and add to it.  He took their advice and won several awards on the building, given by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. Gary has since added on to the building again, giving us over 12,000 square feet.  We now have over 15 employees with 3 full time facilities which includes Little Rock, Fort Smith Searcy.  Horton’s originally started as an orthotic only facility and eventually added prosthetics, making it a full service orthotic and prosthetic facility.  

Not only is Horton’s a patient care facility, it has also been active in research and development.  One project that Horton’s has worked on, was with the University of Texas in San Antonio.  Together they worked on the idea of manufacturing plastic shrink cones, for prosthetic sockets, with an even wall thickness.  This is virtually impossible to do manually.Development was never completed because of the tremendous cost of making prototype sockets.  Gary still feels like it is a good product if someone could afford to continue with the prototyping and trials.  Gary also developed a special foam, used in the fabrication of TLSO’s and other O and P molds to reduce the weight, to help prevent injuries to the technician.  Some TLSO molds could weigh as much as 100 pounds, but with the special blend foam, would only weigh 10 pounds. Gary along with a retired chemist worked on this project for over a year and a half. Practitioners had tried this before by working off the idea of using a construction type foam, which is unsuitable for the industry, in that it would not stand up to the heat and vacuum forming required in fabricating thermo-plastic orthosis. We distribute this trademarked foam out of our Little Rock facility under the name Caliber Foam.  The most noted research and development project is the Selectively Lockable Knee Brace that we are currently working on with NASA and the Stance Control Orthosis that Gary developed with a team of specialist.  You can read more about this project in this newsletter or visit both of our websites:  www.hortonsoandp.com and/or www.stancecontrol.com.

Horton’s Orthotic Lab also prides itself in promoting activates for children with physical disabilities.  The first activity that Horton’s promoted was called Super Spokes. This was held once a month during the summer. The event would include playing basketball, tennis, and archery, just to name a few. The boy and girl who improved the most during the summer would receive a new wheelchair donated by Quickie. We sponsored Super Spokes for 3 years, but we stopped so the kids and volunteers could participate in the Junior Rollin Razorback program. The activity that gets all of our attention now, is called Fishin’ At The Harbor, which is a day of fishing for children with physical disabilities and their families.  This event is free for the family and is held at Mountain Harbor Resort on lake Ouchita.  2010 will mark our 11th year to hold this event.

In 2001 Gary opened Horton Technology to sale and distribute all over the world the products that have been developed through Horton's Orthotic Lab Inc. Gary has three children who have not only grown up in the family business, but as adults, have developed careers that will continue to involve them in orthotics and prosthetics.  Mike Horton has a degree in Kinesiology, and has his certificate in prosthetics from Northwestern University. Mike is also head of the prosthetics department.  Tonya Horton has a degree in Business Administration / Marketing from University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is the Marketing Director for the company and runs Horton Technology. Chris Horton has grown up in the business as well.  Chris is Licensed in both orthotics and prosthetics and is the manager of the Searcy office as well as in charge of purchasing for all locations.  Chris splits his time between Searcy and Little Rock.   This will hopefully insure that Horton’s Orthotic Lab will continue for at least another 20 years and may even develop into a family legacy.