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    How to Use an Ankle Gauntlet

    Last updated 1 year ago

    An ankle gauntlet is a type of orthosis that supports the foot and ankle for the management of conditions such as ankle instability and ankle arthritis. Before wearing your ankle orthosis, put on a long sock and then loosen the laces of the ankle gauntlet. Insert your foot into the device, and then secure the laces and straps. You will likely need to loosen the laces of your shoe to allow for room to insert the foot with the gauntlet.

    Your orthotist will provide a recommended wearing schedule, which allows for a breaking in period. For example, for the first day you may only wear the ankle gauntlet for one hour. Double your wearing time on each subsequent day until you’re wearing the device for eight hours on the fourth day. Remember to avoid sleeping and walking around without shoes while wearing your ankle gauntlet. See your orthotist if skin irritation develops.

    The orthotists at Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics work closely with each patient to ensure his or her satisfaction with our custom-made ankle gauntlets, other custom orthotics, and custom prosthetics. To schedule an appointment with one of our offices in Philadelphia or Harrisburg, call (717) 337-2273.

    Treatment and Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia, or band on the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed and painful. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of sharp, stabbing pain in the heel. To prevent and treat plantar fasciitis, conservative measures are often effective. Patients can apply an ice pack to the area for 15 minutes at a time. Selecting supportive footwear and using an orthotic insert for additional support is also helpful.

    For more tips on preventing and treating plantar fasciitis, watch this video. This doctor explains the benefits of working with a physical therapist to learn stretching exercises. He also discusses the use of a night splint to hold the foot in a neutral position during sleep.

    Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics provides specially designed orthotics to suit the needs of each individual patient. Residents of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and beyond can call (717) 337-2273 or visit our website for more information about our orthotics.

    An Overview of the Different Types of Prosthetics

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Prosthetics are artificial body parts used to replace a natural body part that is no longer viable due to disease, trauma, or similar problems. Although the loss of a natural body part such as a limb is a psychologically challenging event, custom-made prosthetics can help restore a patient’s quality of life and improve his or her ability to carry out day-to-day activities. There are different types of prosthetics available, such as devices that replace a lower limb, upper limb, or foot.

    Leg Prosthetics

    A leg prosthetic may be transtibial or transfemoral. If you are informed you will need a transfemoral prosthetic, it means that the device will feature a prosthetic knee joint and it will attach to your natural thigh. On the other hand, transtibial prosthetics do not include a knee joint; they are only for patients who undergo amputations below the knee. Other options are available for patients who require leg prosthetics, depending on the typical daily use of the leg. For example, active patients may benefit from advanced foot-ankle assemblies, which enable running and jumping.

    Arm Prosthetics

    As with leg prosthetics, there are two main types of arm prosthetics. A transradial prosthetic is used for patients who undergo below-the-elbow amputations. Transhumeral prosthetics include the elbow joint and attach to the natural upper arm. Thanks to improvements in technology, patients may choose advanced myoelectric prosthetics, which move in accordance with electrical signals sent by the brain.

    Partial Foot Prosthetics

    Partial foot amputations are among the most common types of amputations, particularly among patients with diabetes who develop foot ulcers. A patient who requires a partial foot prosthetic will have the remainder of the natural foot cast so that the prosthetic can be custom-made. Some providers of partial foot prosthetics provide interfaces that are specially designed for those with diabetes.

    The caring professionals at Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics provide extensive patient counseling services, including pre-amputation evaluations and fittings directly after the surgery. Give us a call at (717) 337-2273 and ask us how our top-of-the-line prosthetics can help improve your quality of life. We offer convenient locations in Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

    Join Our Basic Skills Adaptive Climbing Class!

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Join us on Saturday from 12PM-3PM for a one-on-one training in adaptive climbing! For more information or to register for the class, visit our website or call us today.

    What to Expect From an Amputation Procedure

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Most often, doctors recommend amputations for patients who suffer from poor circulation, usually as a result of peripheral artery disease. Amputations may also be required because of physical trauma, severe infections, and complications due to diabetes. If you’re expecting an amputation, you can meet with a custom prosthetic provider ahead of the surgery to learn more about what you can expect. The prosthetic provider will work closely with your doctors and therapists to ensure you receive the best prosthetic for your unique needs.


    Prior to the procedure, you’ll consult your doctor to learn what you can expect from the surgery. This is a good opportunity to ask all of the questions you have about the surgery itself and your recovery. You can expect to undergo a physical exam and other diagnostic tests, such as blood tests. You should also schedule a pre-surgery evaluation with the prosthetic provider. Since the procedure will be performed under general anesthesia, you’ll need to refrain from eating and drinking for a period of time.


    After you are placed under anesthesia, the surgeon will evaluate your skin temperature, color, and other factors to determine how much of the tissue to remove. Sometimes, after tissue removal, the surgeon may determine that more of the limb requires removal. However, the doctor will attempt to leave as much of the functioning limb as possible. After applying sutures and a dressing, the doctor applies a stocking or a splint over the remainder of the limb.


    After the surgery, you’ll be monitored closely as you come out of the anesthesia. You’re likely to remain in the hospital for several days, during which time you may work with a physical therapist and other specialists. Your prosthetic provider will fit your prosthetic device and teach you how to use it. You may begin practicing with your prosthetic device as early as two weeks after the surgery.

    At Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, you can take advantage of pre-amputation counseling services and immediate post-surgery fittings to help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. We provide custom prosthetics for lower limbs, upper limbs, and partial foot. You can reach our offices in Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia by calling (717) 337-2273.

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