The Orthotics department at Hamilton Health Sciences evaluates, designs, and creates custom orthotics (for example, a brace or helmet) to improve function, health, and comfort for clients in Hamilton and the surrounding areas.
Types of Orthotic Treatments We Provide in Hamilton
We provide orthotic treatment such as:
- foot, ankle, knee and hip orthosis
- hand and arm orthosis
- cranial (head) orthosis
- cervical (neck and spine) orthosis
- thoracic (back and spine) orthosis
- custom shoe modifications or changes
Appointment Booking Instructions
If your family physician/specialist has prescribed an orthotic device, you may call us to book an appointment with one of our orthotists. If you feel you require an orthotic device, you can discuss this with your family physician or ask to be referred to one of our orthotic clinics.
A spinal orthosis is a brace used to support and align the spine to prevent pain, further injury, and stress on the structures of the spine. Different spinal orthoses can be used to support the lower back, the upper back, the neck, or a combination of these areas.
Spinal orthoses are often prescribed for patients who have:
- postural or scheurmanns kyphosis
- low back pain
- degenerative disc disease or bulging/herniated discs
- spinal fractures due to trauma
Scoliosis Orthoses (thoracolumbosacral orthosis – TLSO)
Scoliosis Orthoses are used to hold the spine in a corrected position to prevent progression of scoliosis with the goal of avoiding surgery if possible. These devices are custom made to a cast, a scan, or measurements of the patient. A TLSO may also be used to stabilize the spine after corrective surgery for scoliosis.
Orthoses for Back Pain (lumbosacral orthoses – LSO)
These devices can be custom made or off the shelf, and help to prevent pain by decreasing the load on the spine, or preventing positions of the spine that cause pain.
Orthoses for Fractures: (cervico) thoracolumbosacral orthoses – (C)TLSO
These devices can be custom made or off the shelf, and help to prevent further injury to stable spinal fractures during the healing process.
These orthoses can be used to stabilize a fracture or help to support the neck in the event of neck weakness, and may extend lower than the neck if more support is needed.
These orthoses are off the shelf devices that are adjustable to fit each patient’s individual size. They place pressure on the sternum to prevent it from protruding which occurs in pectus carinatum and to correct this deformity.
Upper Extremity Orthoses
An upper extremity orthosis can be used to support and align the upper body to prevent pain, muscle tightness, and joint deformity. These orthoses can be used to support the shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers or a combination of these joints.
Upper extremity orthoses are often prescribed for patients who have:
- spasticity or muscle weakness secondary to stroke, acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- dequerveins tenosynovitis
- osteo/rheumatoid arthritis
- brachial plexus injury
Lower Extremity Orthoses
A lower extremity orthosis can be used to support and align the lower body to prevent pain, muscle tightness, and joint deformity. These orthoses can be used to support the foot, ankle, knee, hip, or a combination of these joints.
Lower extremity orthoses are often prescribed for patients who have:
- acquired brain injury
- spinal cord injury
- spina bifida
- cerebral palsy
- multiple sclerosis
- plantar fasciitis
- charcot marie tooth
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- osteo/rheumatoid arthritis
- chronic foot/ankle/knee pain from various causes
Custom helmets can be used to protect the cranium (protective) or to correct the head shape (corrective).
Protective helmets are often prescribed for patients who have:
- seizures/epilepsy causing falls and injuries
- pica syndrome
- unstable gait causing falls
- lack of protective responses during falls
- downs syndrome
- self abusive behaviour
Protective helmets offer improvements over adapted sporting helmets as they are fabricated using lighter materials, have larger openings for ventilation, allow for complete peripheral vision, and a custom fit to ensure that the helmet stays in place during a fall or a seizure.
Corrective helmets are used for infants who have positional deformation of the skull caused by external forces, which results in:
- plagiocephaly: asymmetry of the skull resulting from the child sleeping with their head turned to one side, causing a flat spot on one side of the back of the skull
- brachycephaly: flatness at the back of the head resulting from the child sleeping flat on their back
Corrective helmets can also be used post-surgery for craniosynostosis (premature fusion of one or more sutures of the skull) to promote correction in the head shape.
Hospital Payment Policy
The services provided by the Prosthetic and Orthotic department at the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre are not funded in any way through the hospital or through OHIP. Our policy is that full payment is required for services provided at the time the prosthesis or orthosis is dispensed to you.
To assist you the department accepts Visa, Mastercard, American express, debit cards, personal cheques, and cash. In most cases you will be asked to leave a deposit at the time of the assessment before any work will be started.
Certain devices may qualify for funding through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP). Your clinician will be able to inform you if the device you are being assessed for falls within this category.
For more information about ADP funding for orthotic devices and frequently asked questions, or to download the application form, visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Central Forms Repository.
Your physician will need to sign the form and provide a diagnosis to access ADP funding. Bringing your signed copy of the ADP form to your first appointment speeds up the process of scheduling your orthotic fitting appointment. Our staff will help complete and submit the application to the Ministry of Health on your behalf. If you have any questions, please contact our office during regular business hours at 905-521-2607.
Custom Foot Orthotics
If you have work place benefits, contact your insurance provider to clarify your coverage. You may be eligible for full or partial reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Along with your payment receipts we will provide you with all the information required for a claim submission to your carrier or for including in your next income tax filing. In many cases your insurance provider will want to see a current valid prescription from a physician when submitting your claim regardless of previous funding for foot orthoses.
If you are on provincial social assistance (ODSP/ACSD,OW), funding assistance may be available through your regional social services department. Funding must be in place before your orthotics are created.
The Assistive Devices Program is a program through the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. This program will pay 75% of qualified orthotic devices. The remaining balance of 25% is the your responsibility. If you have work place benefits you may have coverage for these devices. Please contact your insurance provider to clarify your coverage for custom bracing.
If you are on provincial social assistance (ODSP/ACSD,OW), the Assistive Devices Program will fund your devices 100%.
Prosthetic and Orthotic Assistance
Community service clubs or charities: Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, War Amps Canada, and Ceridian Cares
Lodges: Masonic, Elks and Royal Purple, IOOF, and Moose Lodge. Many of these lodges will assist people who live in their community.
Many churches have benevolent funds for parishioners and families.
You will need to write a letter requesting assistance to your chosen agency; we will provide you with an estimate to include with your request.
Veterans may get assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- you will need to have a “K” number to access this funding
- contact local DVA for information regarding “K” number