Bracing for Breaks: How Orthotics Can Help You Recover From a Fracture

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Bracing for Breaks: How Orthotics Can Help You Recover From a Fracture

A cast brace plays an important role in your recovery from a fracture by allowing limited joint mobility, increased muscle activity, and needed continuous support to regain your full range of motion.

A painful fracture will almost always require some type of orthotic bracing. That bracing may be recommended directly after a surgery, or as transitional treatment once a cast is removed. Whether you require a tibial fracture brace, ankle facture brace, or humeral fracture brace, the team at Horton’s in Arkansas has a wide range of cast braces to get you on the path to recovery and back on your feet again.

How Fracture Braces Work

A cast brace, also known as a fracture brace, is used to further the healing process after the initial molded cast is removed. Cast braces can also be utilized when a fracture is slow to heal. By providing the support you need as you progress through these crucial stages of healing, a cast brace encourages the limited motion that helps you get back to your daily life.

A brace provides a range of motion for the joints that are just above and just below the actual fracture. A fracture brace is designed to encourage partial weight-bearing and increased muscle activity as you transition from having part of your body totally immobilized by a cast to returning to the kind of weight-bearing motion you were accustomed to prior to your fracture.

Types of Fracture Braces

It’s important to have a brace that is custom-made to give you exactly the type of support specified by your physician after a break or fracture. Depending on what is required, you may need a combination of materials, such as thermoformed plastic, metal, or carbon graphite. Several pieces may be required for a single bracing system, or it could constructed with one piece. Precise measurements and fabrication notations will be taken by your orthotist to prepare for the custom brace-building process tailored to your particular type of break.

There are several orthotic bracing systems that allow for this type of post-fracture, post-cast function:

  • Tibial fracture brace (shin bone)
  • Wrist fracture brace
  • Ankle facture brace
  • Radius/ulnar fracture brace (forearm)
  • Humeral fracture brace (upper arm/shoulder)
  • Femoral fracture brace (upper leg)

What to Expect With Your Cast Brace

Depending on the location of your fracture, you may be given other implements along with your cast brace. For example, after a tibial fracture, crutches are usually required even after the cast comes off and the brace is put on. This allows you to start off with limited weight-bearing. After some time, however, the more you can move and put weight on the injured leg with the brace in place, the more quickly healing will occur.

While you are wearing your post-cast brace, you’ll likely find some adjustments are needed to loosen or tighten the orthosis. Depending on your brace type, you may be able to do this yourself. Some interim X-rays may also be required to check on whether soft tissue and bone healing are progressing according to schedule.

Following your orthotist’s in-office demonstrations and instructions for both wearing and caring for your orthotics is crucial to the success of the bracing process. The team at Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics makes sure you know how to wear your new brace and where you can find resources for further aid if needed.

No matter what your injury is or what type of orthotics you require, you can expect Horton’s dedicated team of professionals to be with you every step of the way. If you would like to learn more about your options for a custom cast brace, contact Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics today at 501-683-8889 to schedule a consultation.

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