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Thread: Leg brace question

  1. #1

    Leg brace question

    So, I'm a c6 quadriplegic with no movement from the chest down. But I really want a pair of braces so I can just stand while holding onto an object or a person. I just want to be upright without being in a standing frame. No it's not the most practical thing ever...but I want some

    where does one get leg braces made and how much do they usually cost?

  2. #2
    You'll first need to be evaluated by a health care professional (usually a doctor, sometimes a physical therapist) qualified to determine whether braces will work for your purpose, and if so, which type would be best. He or she will write a prescription for you to take to an orthotist, who will measure and cast you for whichever orthotic device(s) you need, built especially for you. You can expect to spend at least $1800 apiece for basic knee-ankle-foot braces (KAFOs), more for braces that include the hips and waist; there are also very sophisticated computerized orthotics that cost many thousands of dollars. Insurance companies vary widely in how much they'll pay for any type of mobility solution, so you'll probably want to look into that in advance. Maybe a parallel bar unit for your home would be good for you to have, too. The most important thing is for you to be seen by a well trained, experienced health care professional (preferably a physiatrist who understands SCI) who can evaluate you individually, with an eye to your safety, comfort and ability to put on/remove particular types of orthotics.

    Note: What I've written is based on my own experience with orthotics, as recently as last year - things change at a rapid pace in this field, though, and I'm sure others here will contribute additional observations. Best wishes with finding a good approach to your goal!
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  3. #3
    Are there any national companies that make the actual braces that I could reach out to beforehand

  4. #4
    I am a C-7 complete and I have stood and messed around in parallel bars with KAFOs mostly because they said I could not do it. At the time Dr. Kessler's practice was to prescribe braces for anyone who insisted that they could do it. He had found that by prescribing and obtaining braces for idiots like me sped up our rehab by several weeks. Words would not convince us that we could not use them but a short trial would. He was right. The second time I had them on I realized how demanding using braces is. I was ready to move on with wheelchair life. However for several years I did continue to use them for standing. When I started working fulltime and dealing with marital bliss I tossed them out. I did not have time to mess with non-essentials. Being married I found other more engaging exercise. lol I doubt that any physician would prescribe them for you or that any insurance would pay for them unless you had real potential to benefit from them. I you are interested you can check out a photo of me standing in KAFOs by clicking on the link under "see me at" at the bottom of my post. In retrospect my stubbornness probably helped to do in my shoulder joints. But showing off was lots of fun too. lol
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ECUrach85 View Post
    Are there any national companies that make the actual braces that I could reach out to beforehand
    In my experience, they won't talk to you until you have a prescription. Most companies have contracts with manufacturers and deal with things on a case-by-case basis. Some companies build braces on-site, but again they need to know what's needed before they can have any meaningful conversations, make estimates, etc.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  6. #6
    I'm wanting to reach out to the cruel companies to see what kind of deal we could work out. I just don't know who to contact

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnette View Post
    In my experience, they won't talk to you until you have a prescription. Most companies have contracts with manufacturers and deal with things on a case-by-case basis. Some companies build braces on-site, but again they need to know what's needed before they can have any meaningful conversations, make estimates, etc.
    Gotcha

  8. #8
    It is a matter of liability. Without a prescription the orthotist is taking on full liability for injuries that might occur from using the braces. In activities like this the risks are substantial.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  9. #9
    to be able to stand up straight you need to support certain points on your body, from knee, hip and possible lower back, im sure you have thought alot about it all but just saying it could be alot more than you think to keep you upright, will it be something made out of metal like an exoskeleton? would it have the ability to let you go from sitting to standing and kind of locking in place at key points? sorry ive just got this picture in my head now :P

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I had custom braces built. They came and took a mold of my legs from bottom of hip-top of leg all the way to toes. Ankle was fixed forever. Knee was lock-unlock. They wanted me to start in lock and walk like Fankenstein. Basically twist hi[, I guess to swing 1 leg forward while other leg support. My goal was walk, no stand. Those damn things were so heavy, you would have to be Hercules to use them. I HATED THEM. Refused therapy and would not go. I was not strong enough to even do such. They were way ahead in process. These were somewhere $6500. NOT cheap. They took them back. I think they billed Medicare anyhow. At least I never got a bill. So all of that said, keep in mind the weight of these things, based on how large of a brace you want on leg.

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