Orthotics 101

Posted by Shannon on Jan 16th 2024

JAN 16, 2024

Orthotics 101: Basics of Orthotic Bracing, Orthotic Interfaces, and Conditions they Help to Treat

What are orthotics? An orthotic brace is something that is worn to improve mobility, relieve pain, align joints, or treat injury or medical conditions. There are many different styles of braces for nearly every part of the body.

Girl pulling at Torso-Interface shirt to show its stretchiness

Orthotic braces can be life changing for patients, but treatment can often cause pain and discomfort from the brace rubbing or pinching against the skin. People who experience this discomfort can benefit from wearing an orthotic interface garment under their brace. Orthotic interface garments are specifically designed to provide comfort and prevent irritation.

Torso Interface Shirt

What Makes Torso Interface Unique

A torso interface shirt is worn under any kind of spinal or abdominal brace or body jacket. All styles are seamless and made with super soft yarns for extra comfort. The yarns are ultra-stretchy producing a garment that fits snug against the skin to prevent wrinkling and bunching under the brace. Style options include axilla flaps that protect delicate underarm skin from rubbing and abrasion. Another style option is the weight of the garment. The original thickness provides additional protective comfort, while lightweight thickness is cooler to wear. All styles are moisture-wicking, which helps keep the wearers skin dry.

What Theyre Used For

Spinal and abdominal braces and body jackets can be used to treat many different conditions. Some common conditions include muscle strain, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, disc degeneration, scoliosis, osteoporosis, and back injury.

Girl wearing Torso-Interface in grey with blue background

AFO and KAFO Interface Socks

What Makes AFO and KAFO Interface Socks Unique

AFO and KAFO Interface socks are worn under an AFO or KAFO leg brace. AFO and KAFO socks are seamless or have a subtle smooth seam and are made with super soft yarns for more comfort. The yarns are ultra-stretchy, which helps them to fit snug against the skin and prevents them from wrinkling, bunching, or sliding down under the brace. AFO and KAFO Interface Socks are moisture wicking, which keeps them dry and comfortable.

What They’re Used For

AFO stands for ankle, foot orthosis, while KAFO stands for knee, ankle, foot orthosis. There are many different kinds of AFO and KAFO braces to treat a number of different conditions. Some common conditions include cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, foot drop, club foot just to name a few.

Child wearing Core-Spun Patterned AFO Socks in Yellow Halo sitting on couch

Knee Interface Sleeves

What Makes Knee Interface Sleeves Unique

Knee Interface Sleeves are designed to be worn under a leg or knee brace for extra support and protection. Moisture-wicking fibers in the garment prevent odors and help keep the skin cool and dry. Multi-directional stretch keeps the knee sleeve snug against the leg allowing it to move with the body during activity. The garment can also be worn without a leg or knee brace. The compression helps to reduce pain and swelling and provide support and stabilization for the leg.

What Theyre Used For

Patients experiencing osteoarthritis, ligament instability, knee or leg injury, post-operative care, etc. may need a knee or leg brace for support or treatment.

Person wearing Knit-Rite Knee Interface Sleeve in Black

Cranial Interfaces

What Makes Cranial Interfaces Unique

This product is usually worn by the youngest patients—infants that require corrective helmet therapy. Delicate baby skin, especially on the head and scalp is particularly susceptible to irritation and skin infections. A cranial interface protects this skin by creating a soft, lightweight barrier between the skin and the helmet. The interface yarns are moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, keeping the babys head dry and protected from dermatitis.

What Theyre Used For

There are several conditions that require a baby to wear an orthotic helmet, but most of them are due to a type of plagiocephaly. Plagiocephaly is a skull deformity that is usually caused by the infant spending a lot of time in one position. For instance, a baby that spends time in the NICU may spend an abnormally long time on its back. Since an infants skull is not yet fused together, it can easily change shape leading to orthotic helmet therapy. Another instance of a condition that uses helmet therapy is craniosynostosis. This is a condition where the plates of the skull are abnormally fused together. A child with this condition may need surgery followed by helmet therapy.

Baby wearing Knit-Rite Balaclava Cranial Interface in grey while holding a toy

Orthotic interface garments make life for brace-wearers much easier and more comfortable. If you would like to learn more about some of the many orthotic devices that improve lives every day, visit our companion site thuasneusa.com.

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.


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