A note from Loren Saxton, SCOPe Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. practitioner, owner, and Lifelong Post-Polio Patient In this era of instantaneous communication and fears of bio-terrorism and killer viruses, it is interesting to imagine what the response today would be to the polio epidemic of 1952. In 2002, anthrax killed 5 people and infected approximately two dozen others. In 1952, polio infected 50,000 or more, and 12% of victims died from the disease.
Polio, for most of us, has faded from consciousness. What was once a killer epidemic is now just one part of a childhood vaccination. In most areas of the world, it is felt to have been eradicated. However, in its wake, polio left some 790,000 estimated survivors. People who often times became devastatingly ill fought their way back to recovery and thought they had put polio behind them.
Many survivors have done just that, and have gone on to live active productive lives. However, decades after recovering much of their strength, many polio survivors are now aging and beginning to suffer from increasing weakness, fatigue and pain. So many survivors are experiencing these things, in fact, that collectively, the condition was named “Post Polio Syndrome” in the early 1980's. It is estimated that as many as 40% of the people once diagnosed with polio are feeling the after-affects of this syndrome.
Whether you as a patient are still dealing with the effects of polio, or the onset of post-polio syndrome, proper orthotic treatment is crucial. By and large, we polio survivors are a strong group of over-achievers. We know what it is to fight, to get by on grit and sheer willpower. And we have always had stringent expectations for the most effective orthotic intervention possible.
Fortunately, the options now available have never been greater. SCOPe orthotists use materials and fitting techniques to make braces stronger and more comfortable than ever before. We use composite materials of carbon fiber, Kevlar and acrylic resin that allow for the strongest, lightest-weight braces available. Innovative fitting techniques like "clear check socket fittings" insure the most comfortable fit ever.
Furthermore, advances in technology for the person requiring a long leg brace (KAFO) have been incredible recently. We now have available knee joints for KAFO's that have the intuitive ability to lock and unlock as needed. (See also our section on E-Knees, UTX/Free walk SPL Bosko, and Horton), The combination of fitting techniques, materials and sophisticated knee joints are resulting in the most successful outcomes ever.
We at SCOPe Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. can offer you the most cosmetically acceptable, comfortable fitting braces, which provide control when you need it and the freedom of motion when you want it, improved stability and security, and fewer falls.