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Medical Monday 3.17.14: Brace Technology Giving Patients A Leg Up on Health

| March 24, 2014

BRACEWEB from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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Some orthotic patients are BRACING themselves for a quality of life change, thanks to a local clinic and an innovative piece of technology. It’s the focus of this week’s Medical Monday with Shawn Cunningham.

Tony Boucher (BU-SHAY) now walks with more confidence. Its well hidden, but Boucher is wearing a unique innovation. This total contact PTB-AFO or ankle foot orthosis, fancy lingo for a foot brace that’s keeping Boucher footloose and not just fancy free, but PAIN FREE. “Definitely at the end of the day, my ankle fees much better I don’t have that excruciating pain like in the evening when you wind down and you go to get back up and you almost crumble to the floor cause there’s so much pain the ankle I don’t have that anymore,” says Boucher.

Wade Bonneson is anĀ Orthotist/Prosthetist for Northern Prosthetics and Orthotics in Presque Isle and says “this particular brace is designed to offload Tony’s foot and ankle beacuse he can’t tolerate much pressure on his foot so it takes the load up on his calf.”

Tony was born with a club foot and has had many issues throughout his life, including numerous surgeries. Just last year, doctors told him to maybe consider amputating his right leg below the knee. A tough decision INDEED. Tony came to Northern Prosthetics and Orthotics to weigh all his options. Instead Tony and Wade, OPTED to try this new brace…that’s become Tony’s saving grace.

“We started the last few months designing the brace what would work what wouldn’t work and we came up with this device and so far so good,” says Tony.

Bonneson says the biggest benefit of the brace to patients is reduced pain. But it also gives patients a LEG UP in other areas…

“One thing I believe is Tony will have more efficiency in gait he’ll use less energy to get from point A to point B than he is now or he did before the brace.”

Bonneson says the brace technology is being updated with better materials to provide patients with even more ease. Tony says he was in so much pain before, he pretty much had to sit out last year from doing many of the activities he loves. But THIS YEAR, the brace is helping him take many steps in the right direction.

“I’m a registered Maine guide I guide hunters in the fall and last fall was a struggle being in the woods, pretty long treks I was in pretty hard pain hopefully this fall I’ll be better off,” says Tony.

Thanks to this brace, Tony’s looking forward to the fall, knowing he can get up and go anywhere he wants to.

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