My visit to Dorset Orthopaedics
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I was very pleased to be invited to visit the Dorset Orthopaedics Ringwood Office as I have clients who have used their services and wanted to know more about what happens from initial assessment to the final product.
I was intrigued to learn about the international operation that Dorset Orthopaedics run, they will go wherever necessary in the world to see a patient who needs help. They also fulfil orders from many countries and provide rehabilitation and follow up services. They provide upper and lower limb prosthetics, upper and lower limb silicone solutions, osseointergration (removing the need for a socket), targeted muscle reinnervation, SAFO and orthotics.
I was surprised at how much customisation of the Cosmesis takes place; even to ensure matching thread veins or bunions so both limbs look similar. They can also customise to an individual's requirements such as cartoon characters for children, different colours for job safety or specific patterns. It was fascinating to watch the colour matching and the layering of the silicone to ensure bespoke orthoses.
I was particularly interested in the SAFO (silicone ankle foot orthosis) as I have two clients who suffer from foot drop, one who is already being assessed by Dorset Orthopaedics. Having seen the attention to detail and the steps that are taken to consider each individual's needs; I am sure that the SAFO will improve their quality of life on a day to day basis. A one piece silicon cover option can be provided to camouflage and restore limb shape in addition.
Matt Hughes, the Clinical Services Development Director prosthetist/Orthoptist, stressed to me the importance of ensuring clients are seen as soon as possible. This is to prevent deterioration that may have an impact at a later date, and to prevent the psychological impact and apathy that can result if help is not offered as soon as possible to achieve the best outcome.
I now feel that I have much more information to enable me to discuss possible options with my clients and to encourage early referral.
Thank you to Jillian and Sue from Legal Services for arranging my visit and to Matthew Hughes for showing me around the three buildings. I would also like to thank Woody and all the other artists and technician who take such pride in their work.
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