This is how a brace is made…

Hi Everyone.  When we were in Virginia getting our braces made at Orthotic Solutions, Mr. Luke let us get some photos and do some participation behind the scenes.  The following is a brief summary of how the brace is made:

1.  Luke scans the patients with a computerized scanning “gun” that makes an exact replica of their body appear on a computer screen.  This takes about 5 minutes.

2.  He then loads the image into a foam cutting machine (not pictured) and it carves a replica of the patient’s body onto a piece of foam.  (My daughter is standing here, next to her foam replica, which is loaded on a spindle for forming)

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3.  Luke pulls a very hot sheet of plastic out of a special industrial oven and applies a color or print to it.  He has many choices, and the prints usually come in thin sheets that are laid on the hot plastic and melted onto the surface.  However, lately he and the other Orthotists were experimenting and came up with a “sponge painting” technique, that my daughter chose – she wanted red and purple. So, here they all are, gathered around and “sponge painting” the brace – they had to be very fast.  Now, if this doesn’t prove that these men care about their patients, I don’t know what would!

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4.  The plastic sheet is laid over the foam replica of the patient’s body.  This is also a very fast job that requires multiple people.  Luke is always willing to be the one to get on the floor and take the most uncomfortable position.

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5.  Luke trims the parts off that he doesn’t want, before it hardens too much.

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6.  Luke takes the brace in a back room and performs additional trimming operations and grinds the edges so they are smooth.

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7.  He then takes the brace to his worktable, where he drills holes for the straps

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8.  Next, they insert heavy duty snaps.  My daughter was able to put a couple of her snaps on!

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9.  After the basic brace is made, more trimming is done (after trying it on the patient), pads are put strategically inside, and painstaking efforts are taken to tweak any parts that poke, prod, or discomfort the patient.

The entire staff at Orthotic Solutions are extremely caring, considerate, and thoughtful of their patients and patients’ families.  They have been one of the biggest blessings to us in this entire process.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about them.  Thank-you Orthotic Solutions!

Published by Tina

Mother, Inventor, Entrepreneur, working to help make people who need to wear orthotic and prosthetic bracing, more comfortable in their braces.

3 thoughts on “This is how a brace is made…

  1. Looks like a lot of improvements have been made since my daughter was in her brace. She wore the Charleston Bending Brace and they made it by actually wrapping her body in a plaster cast, I believe is what it’s called. Your blog is interesting to me, since both my daughter and my son have scoliosis as well. My son was just diagnosed a little over 6 months ago.

    1. Glad you are enjoying the blog. It does sound like we have a lot in common. Interestingly enough, when my daughter was first fitted for a Cheneau, they did the plaster cast. He also did the scanning method at that time, but since her curve was so large, he wanted to get a hard cast. Since then, he’s just scanned them. Scanning is a MUCH easier method!

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