Today, we learned more about and helped with the orthotic’s fabrication.
Now that we have made a cast of each child’s leg or foot, a mold is made by pouring plaster inside the cast. Next, you take the mold and make altercations to fit the patient’s needs. For example, my group had to add plaster to the areas where we wanted relief, which were the bony areas on the heel and inside of the foot.
You then add the toe part and toe spring, which should extend past the length of the patient’s foot. After that, you smooth down the mold. The next step is making the shape of the orthotic by placing heated polypropylene over the mold. This is where I was most of the day. It has to be fast paced so the orthotic doesn’t harden before taking the proper shape, and so air doesn’t leak out of the inside of the mold and create bubbles on the exterior.
Today was the first day I felt like I was really helping. It has been a huge learning experience, with the Polytech students acting as our teachers. There’s a lot that goes behind each orthotic and it takes a lot of experience to know exactly what the patient needs.
Tomorrow we will continue making the orthotics