Prosthetics and Orthotics services at CIHSR Hospital

Gideon Andrews

In an attempt to improve the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges, the Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) in Dimapurhas emerged as one of the pioneers in physical medicine through its Prosthetics and Orthotics services in Nagaland. With commitment and a personalized approach, CIHSR ishelping and changing the lives of the physically challenged.

The field of prosthetics in healthcare specializes in the design, manufacture, and fitting of artificial limbs for people who have experienced limb loss orlimb defects since birth.The term “Prosthesis” refers to the artificial limb that is externally fitted to replace the missing limbs. Prostheses can be provided for various reasons:

1.     Traumatic Injury: People who have lost limbs due to accidents, injuries, or amputations may useprostheses to regain some or all the lost function.

2.     Congenital Conditions: Some individuals are born with limb defects, and prostheses can help them achieve better mobility and function.

3. Disease or Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as cancer or vascular diseases, orextreme cases of diabetes may require amputation of a limb. Prostheses can be used to replace the missing limb and restore mobility.

Improved Quality of Life: Prosthetic devices can greatly enhance a person's ability to perform daily activities, engage in sports, and lead an active life.

Orthoticson the other hand is a field that specializesin fabricating medical devices to provide support, correct posture, and manage various structural and muscular problems in the body to improve function or prevent further complications. These devices are often given to individuals to manage and reduce pain or discomfort.

Here are some common reasons why a person might require an orthosis:

1.     Alignment Correction: To correct walking patterns, body alignment, or posture, orthotic devices can help align the bones and joints properly. This may include issues like rolling the foot inward, rolling the foot outward, and various other irregular walking patterns. Using an orthosis can reduce pain and prevent further complications.

2.     Pain Relief: Orthoses can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with various conditions, including heel pain, bunions, arthritis, and knee pain. They offer cushioning and support to reduce strain on affected areas. 

3. Musculoskeletal Disorders: Orthoses can be beneficial for individuals with conditions such as scoliosis (spinal curvature) or limb length discrepancies (uneven length of limbs). They help in managing these conditions and reducing pain.

4. Neurological Conditions: People with neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, andstroke-related impairments which may lead to various disordersmay benefit from orthotic devices to improve mobility and stability.

5. Joint Stability: Supportive braces are used to stabilize joints affected by conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or hypermobility (joint moves beyond normal range). They reduce pain and improve joint function.

6. Diabetic Foot Care: For individuals with diabetes, orthoses can help prevent and manage foot ulcers by providing pressure relief and maintaining proper foot alignment.

An orthosis istypically prescribed after a thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional. They assess the individual's condition, walking pattern, and medical history to determine whether an orthotic device could be beneficial. Orthoses are aimed at improving comfort, function, and overall quality of life for individuals with various musculoskeletal challenges.

These devices are tailor-made to suit each patient's unique needs, ensuring a comfortable fit and maximal functionality. This personalized approach not only restores physical mobility but also restores confidence and self-esteem, allowing patients to reclaim their independence and lead fulfilling lives.

The expansion of prosthetic and orthotic services at CIHSR Hospital represents a significant leap forward in improving the lives of individuals facing physical challenges in Dimapur, Nagaland, and the surrounding regions. With its state-of-the-art facilities, compassionate care, and commitment to serving the community, CIHSR Hospital continues to make a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals.

The writer is Prosthetist and Orthotist, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR) 4th Mile, Diphupar ’A’ Chümoukedima, Nagaland.