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    An Overview of Compartment Syndrome

    Last updated 3 days ago

    Muscles in the arms and legs are separated from each other by thick layers of tissue, called fascia. Inside each later of fascia is a confined space, or compartment, that contains muscle tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Swelling in a compartment will lead to increased pressure that can limit blood flow. Without treatment, this pressure can lead to permanent injury to the muscle and nerves within the compartment, requiring amputation and the use of prosthetics. Here is an overview of the causes, symptoms, and treatment of compartment syndrome.

    Causes

    Compartment swelling most often occurs from trauma such as a car accident or crush injury. Swelling can also be caused by fractures or soft tissues injuries. Chronic compartment syndrome can be caused by repetitive activities, such as running or cycling. Although compartment syndrome can occur almost anywhere within the arms and legs, it is most common in the lower leg and forearm.

    Symptoms

    As pressure builds, compartment syndrome causes severe pain that does not go away with pain medicine. In severe cases, people suffering from compartment syndrome will experience numbness and tingling, paleness of skin, decreased sensation, severe pain that gets worse, and muscle weakness. To confirm the diagnosis, a doctor may need to measure the pressure directly inside the affected compartment using a needle attached to a pressure meter.

    Treatment

    To prevent permanent damage and amputation, surgery is needed immediately upon diagnosing compartment syndrome. Surgeons will make long cuts through the muscle tissue to relieve the pressure. Skin grafts may be needed to close the wound, and custom orthotics may be recommended to help with physical tasks while the muscle tissue heals and strengthens.

    If you’ve suffered compartment syndrome, you may need prosthetics or orthotics to enhance your comfort and well-being. Since 2004, Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics has provided patients with custom and off-the-shelf prosthetic and orthotic devices. Whether you live in Harrisburg, VA or Philadelphia, PA, Ability can provide you with the artificial limb or brace you need. To learn more, contact us online or call us at (717) 259-9130.

    Our Charlotte Location is Participating in the 14th Annual Cycles to the Sea.

    Last updated 5 days ago

    Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics is pleased to announce its participation in the 14th Annual Cycles to the Sea . The event is scheduled for April 24-26, 2014 and is held by the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP) Fund. 

    Get more information and sign up on our website today!

    • Amy & Dad
    • Ability-Cycling-Jersey-300x278[1]

    Our Exton Location is Hosting WalkAide Evaluation Day!

    Last updated 8 days ago

    For more information visit our website or call us today.

    Creating a Daily Foot Care Routine for People with Diabetes

    Last updated 10 days ago

    Diabetes presents a number of challenges for the men and women who live with it every day. If you have diabetes, it is essential that you make proper foot care a part of your daily self-care routine. That’s because diabetes causes nerve damage in feet, where a small cut or wound can go unnoticed until it eventually becomes infected and leads to a serious complication like gangrene or amputation. In addition to using special diabetic foot orthotics, incorporate the following into your daily foot care routine. 

    Wash, Dry, and Apply Lotion

    Use mild soap and warm water to wash your feet. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly, especially in areas more prone to fungal infections, such as between and underneath the toes. Use lotion on your feet to prevent cracking. If you have nerve damage, take care with water temperature to prevent burning your skin.

    Trim and Smooth Your Toenails

    Using a nail clipper, trim toenails straight across as opposed to rounding down the corners or cutting down the sides of the nails. This helps prevent ingrown toenails, which can lead to painful infections. Be careful not to cut too far down on the nail to prevent cutting your skin and creating an open wound.

    Examine Your Feet Daily

    Check the tops and bottoms of your feet every day. When examining your feet, look for cuts and scratches, ulcers, blisters, calluses, plantar warts, discolored toenails, and dry skin. Redness, warmth, swelling, or blue or black skin color or symptoms of inflammation, infection, and blood flow problems, and should be looked at by a doctor right away.

    Here at Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, we recognize the importance foot orthotics in maintaining and improving your overall health. In addition to our custom and off-the-shelf prosthetics, we offer diabetic foot orthotics and custom shoes. To learn more about our products, call us at (717) 259-9130.

    Tips for Wearing Comfort Loc Lumbar Orthosis

    Last updated 17 days ago

    Your Comfort Loc Lumbar orthosis will ease your recovery after surgery and encourage proper healing. Wearing it is easy. Once you get the hang of putting it on correctly, you will adjust to it in no time.

    Your device will be most comfortable if you wear a thin, cotton shirt under it. Start by loosening all the straps and centering the brace on your spine. The sides should be lined up on your hips. The front of the brace should be centered low on your stomach. Attach each side to the front of the brace and then tighten all the straps so that the brace fits snugly. The brace should be comfortable—if you experience pain, adjust the fit. The brace also shouldn’t shift. If it does, it needs to be tightened.

    If you have questions about your Comfort Loc Lumbar orthosis, call Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics. We’re always here to address your questions and concerns about your custom prosthetics and orthotics. Call us today at (717) 253-9130.

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