Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is a Certified Orthotist?
- What is an orthosis?
- What does 'custom made' mean?
- Can you provide a prescription?
- What happens when I visit Advanced Orthodynamics?
- What is the warranty policy?
- What funding is available?
What is a Certified Orthotist?
A certified orthotist is a medical professional skilled in the manufacture, application and use of an orthosis. The steps towards becoming a certified orthotist are:
- university graduate with a recognized degree in applied science;
- several years of study in a college prosthetics and orthotics program offered by two schools in Canada;
- 22 months of internship under a Certified Orthotist;
- successful completion of a series of examinations; practical, oral and written.
In order to maintain certification, continued updating of one's knowledge through continuing education is required. Certified Orthotists have extensive training in materials, manufacturing, and clinical expertise as well as a comprehensive medical/ science background.
What is an Orthosis?
An Orthosis (plural = orthoses) is "an orthopaedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent or correct deformities, or to improve the function of movable parts of the body." (Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary). In other words, an orthosis is a device that helps the body move in a more efficient and comfortable way, or, can be used to simply align and support, as in the case of a splint. Leg, arm and spinal braces, foot orthotics and splints are all considered orthoses.
While all orthoses that we provide are intended to brace various parts of the body and prevent further deformity from misalignment, we at Advanced Orthodynamics, go beyond, with our innovative functional control orthotic designs. Not only do these designs brace the existing deformity but also work to counteract, straighten and prevent it. Our Certified Orthotist is able to provide this service by drawing on his knowledge and understanding of pathomechanics to address the underlying cause of the problem.
Pathomechanics is an applied science that studies the mechanical forces, both static and dynamic, acting on the human body as a result of a neurological, muscular or skeletal disorder. The meaning of the Greek word, Ortho, is "straight", and we are proud to offer a service which leads our profession back to its roots. Our Certified Orthotist, Eric Bapty, has been successfully fitting and manufacturing functional control orthoses for over ten years and is the only Certified Orthotist in Ontario with this extensive experience.
What does 'custom made' mean?
Custom Made can be a very confusing label. In our case, custom made means that we cast, manufacture on site, supply and fit the device. Fitting also includes follow-up appointments for adjustments so that the maximum benefit may be derived from the device. Adjustments are almost always done while you wait, unless it is a major job.
"Custom Made" can also mean that the device is made for you at a central manufacturing laboratory. This is especially true of foot orthotics and knee braces. The individual casting, measuring or taking an imprint either manually or via a computerized system may not have the expertise to properly fit and adjust the device. Whenever you are looking at purchasing an orthotic device, be sure to ask:
- Who manufactures the device?
- Is it done on the premises?
- Will the person taking the cast also supply and fit the brace?
- What credentials does he or she have?
- Will I be seen after the fitting for follow-up?
- Are adjustments done while I wait or are they sent out to a central laboratory?
- Can evaluations be done to monitor how well the devices are working?
Some companies such as Ossur, an international supplier of orthotics and prosthetics, stipulate that Certified Orthotists supply and fit their braces knowing that the client will have the proper follow-up and adjustments if needed.
Can you provide a prescription?
To avoid conflict of interest, the Canadian Board of Certification for Prosthetists and Orthotists (the governing body of Certified Orthotists) decreed in its code of ethics that Certified Orthotists cannot prescribe, but rather must fulfill the prescription of the referring medical professional.
Should you wish to visit us before seeing your family physician or specialist, we can provide a written assessment for you and a medical professional. Please ask us for details.
What happens when I visit Advanced Orthodynamics?
Our Certified Orthotist first takes your medical history and physically examines the areas of discomfort. Other types of non-invasive examination may be done such as a computerized F-Scan foot pressure and gait analysis, video taping for subsequent computer analysis and Harris Mat ink pad, among others, depending on the device prescribed. Casting is required for almost all orthoses, usually a quick drying fibreglass. We do not take X-rays but will consult them if provided by your referring medical professional.
Your orthosis is manufactured at our facility by our Certified Orthotist and orthotic technician. At your next appointment we'll ensure that your orthotic device fits properly, and advise you on the best way to become accustomed to it. We make minor adjustments at no extra charge during the six-month period after purchase. After this time, a fee will be charged. A six-month follow-up appointment is scheduled for you after your final fitting and adjustment appointment to ensure everything is functioning as it should.
What is the warranty policy?
During the first six-month period, we repair or adjust your orthosis free of charge.
For a custom-made orthosis manufactured on our premises which has been used under normal conditions and whose original design has not been altered at the request of the patient:
- Our warranty against breakage extends over a six-month period;
- Our warranty for a satisfactory fit extends over three months
In the case of custom-molded paediatric devices,
- Our warranty against breakage extends over two months;
- Our warranty for a satisfactory fit extends over 30 days.
For ready-made braces or supports, the manufacturer's guarantee applies.
Adjustments and repairs done after the initial six-month period are priced according to the amount of work involved and the materials required. In such cases, we are happy to provide a quotation before the work begins.
Patients covered under the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) should note that the program does not provide funding for any repairs. However, in some cases, ADP may partially cover adjustments due to growth or change in medical condition. For complete details concerning the replacements covered by this program, please talk to our staff.
What funding is available?
Funding may be available through a variety of sources. These include:
- The Ontario Ministry of Health, Assistive Devices Program
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- Private Extended Heatlh Care Benefits
- Indian and Northern Affairs
- Social Assistance
- Charitable Organizations and local associations
- DVA TAPS cards are accepted.
Advanced Orthodynamics is recognized as a vendor and supplier of orthotic devices by all of the above.