Clinical Departments Clinical Departments

ORTHOPAEDIC TECHNICAL SERVICE

MAIN OBJECTIVES:

1. To carryout assessment, prescription, design, fabrication & fitting of custom made and pre-fabricated prosthetics and orthotics devices.

2. To provide other assistive technology devices after assessment and prescription e.g. mobility aids such as walkers and crutches and others such as raised shoes for leg length discrepancies etc.

3. To conduct outreach visits to other health facilities where these services and professionals are not available.

  • The Windhoek Central Hospital Orthopaedic Technical Services (WCH-OTS) currently conducts outreach services to the following regions.
    • Otjozondjupa (Otjiwarongo Hospital)
    • Erongo (Usakos, Swakopmund and Walvisbay Hospitals)
    • Omaheke ( Gobabis Hospital)
    • Hardap (Mariental hospital)
    • //Kharas (Keetmanshoop Hospital)

4. To advice and educate the general public and other healthcare professionals on prosthetics and orthotics as well as physical rehabilitation in general.

 

PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS TERMINOLOGY

Orthosis          –          A support brace

Orthoses         –          More than one brace

Orthotics         –         Medical science relating to braces

Orthotist         –         A health care professional in the field of orthotics

Prosthesis        –         A device that replaces a missing part of the body e.g. leg

Prosthetist      –         The person who designs and fits your prosthesis

Prosthetics     –          Medical science of making prostheses or artificial limbs

 

PATIENT VISIT TO THE WCH-OTS

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE VISIT?

Each time you come to the WCH-OTS, please bring along your Identification card, health passport, and any other health records related to your condition e.g.  X-Ray films etc.

WHAT IS EXPECTED DURING AN ORTHOTICS VISIT?

Most orthosis are custom-fabricated specifically for the patient, often by using a mold to appropriately size the orthosis and reshape key areas based on the patient’s orthopeadic needs. When making a custom device, we typically mold the patient at the first visit and see them back at least after one week for fitting and delivery of the device.

For children’s devices: As the child grows, the clinician usually makes adjustments each time and then to the device to ensure a good fit. An orthosis or brace typically lasts between six months to one year before needing to be replaced again due to growth. 

 Generally, all orthotic devices for adults or children are usually adjusted throughout the treatment process, ensuring that the patient receives the best care possible.

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED DURING A PROSTHETICS VISIT?

Our prosthetists assess, prescribes, designs and creates a custom-made prosthesis for each patient. It takes approximately two to six weeks to complete the first three stages of developing a prosthesis based on patient flow.

The steps to make a prosthesis usually include:

Evaluation, Prescription, Measurement, Design: 1-2 hours

Plaster modification: 2-4 hours

Molding/lamination: 2-4 hours

Test Socket Fitting: 1-2 hours

Alignment/Wearing Trial: 2-4 hours

Gait Training: Usually 1-2 hours per day, over several weeks

Delivery: 1-2 hours

Prosthetics staff members also work closely with therapists who train patients to use their prostheses in everyday activities. Physical therapy or occupational therapy is usually required for first-time prosthetic fittings and when a major change in prosthetic design or patient goals requires further training. Patients should bring their most recent prosthesis to each appointment and wear clothes appropriate for being casted or measured.

 

WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF MAKING A PROSTHETIC DEVICE?

Measurement Stage: Prosthetists make a plaster mold/impression of the patient’s residual limb that will be fitted.

Plaster Modification: The negative mold is filled up to make a positive mold that is modified according to the known prosthetic principles.

Plastic lamination/draping: Thermoplastics or thermosetting plastics are used in creating the socket

Test Fitting: The patient is fitted with a test socket.

Alignment & Component Assembly: Components such as feet and knees are added. The patient is given some initial training and a chance to try out the system. Usually, temporary, adjustable components are used so that changes to the position, height and angle of the prosthesis can be made.

Additional prosthetic care: The patient receives in-depth training on how to use the device, how to gradually apply more weight onto the prosthesis and how to do other routine activities, such as climb stairs.

Delivery and discharge: After the patient completes training, the prosthetic components are attached in a more permanent, durable way. The device is then completed with a cosmetic finish. Each patient have a choice on how their prosthesis must look. Some are skin-toned and natural looking, some are sporty and brightly colored, while others may not have a cover at all, looking a bit more “high tech.” These choices reflect the needs and preferences of the person wearing the device. Availability of components may also dominate the choice to be made by the patient.

Follow-up: Because children grow quickly, they are usually seen at least four times per year for adjustments to the prosthesis. On average, prostheses need to be replaced about every 15 months. For adult patients, follow-up can be done between six months to one year after the first fitting.

 

Referrals

Patients are usually referred to the Orthopaedic Technical Services as inpatients or outpatients by mostly Orthopeadic doctors, Therapists, and other medical professionals as per the condition of the patient.

 

 

Address

Ooievaar Street Windhoek North

Windhoek Central Hospital

Ground Floor

 

Operating Hours

Mon-Friday: 07h00 – 16h00

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: No service

 

Contact details:

Reception: 0612033346

Chief Medical Orthotist/Prosthetist: 0612032797

Senior Medical Orthotist/Prosthetist: 0612932737

Other: 0612033345/47

Visiting Information Visiting Information

Week days: 15:00 - 16:00

                    18:00 - 19:00

Weekends:  11:00 - 12:00

                    15:00 - 16:00

                    18:00 - 19:00

ICU Visiting Hours

Mon-Sun: 15:00 - 16:00

                  18:00 - 19:00

NB: For ICU Visitors ONLY, Maximum 6 people per patient, These must be the same people seeing the patient everyday until the patient is discharged.