Steenkamp & Pollock Orthotics and Prosthetics

Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 8:00 - 17:00
  Contact : +27 51 444 1086

Other services

Wheelchairs and cushions

Wheelchairs are a common commodity today.  Patients have access to a number of wheelchairs and suppliers to choose from.  It is important to note that the purchase of a wheelchair is an expensive procurement.  Patients should be attentive to the indications for the specific wheelchair.  Our practice is experienced and qualified to determine the exact indication of a wheelchair.  We are directly involved in the prescribing and dispensing of wheelchairs with rehabilitation and mobility in mind.  Factors that need to be taken into account are the:

  • duty cycle – permanent dependency or assistive dependency
  • caregivers capabilities – weight and collapsibility of the wheelchair
  • patient weight – strength and width of the wheelchair
  • logistics – transportability and collapsibility
  • operating surface and conditions – wheel size and tyre type
  • availability of after sales service and spares
  • posture control and adjustability

High activity and lightweight wheelchairs obviously differ dramatically from post-operative temporary use wheelchairs.  Wheelchairs for specialised needs can cost as much as R160 000.

Wheelchair cushions are once again a minefield of options and indications.  We supply Jay2, ROHO, Conradie, Polyurethane Memory foam and standard Medimat cushions as indicated.  These cushions are recommended and supplied based on clinical factors.

Commodes, bathroom solutions and transfer devices complement the mobility solutions suite of services.

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Compression stockings

Compression stockings is a highly specialised field of practice or dispensing.  Stockings are the accessory that everybody loves to hate due to the effort of donning, and also the cost implications.  Although there are many excuses and reasons to procrastinate; this is one of the most necessary and effective conservative treatments available.

Compression hosiery are designed to apply a calibrated grade of compression at the ankle and decrease gradually upwards on the appendage. It is thus imperative that these stockings be measured and dispensed; per person, by a qualified specialist.

Among the plethora of information that can be communicated in this field of practice there are 3 important aspects that have to be discussed:

  • Prophylactic therapy – The use of Class I (Low compression) stockings is indicated to improve the venous return of blood. This is indicated for elective surgery due to the potentially inactive recovery period.  These patients are often in good general health but are subjected to the Thrombo Risk (Deep Vein Thrombosis ie. Blood clot) due to the surgery they are undergoing.  Prophylactic compression hosiery can also be indicated in the early stages of venous disease to arrest the potential regression, or it can be used in candidates who are exposed to long periods of standing associated with their professions.

Flight socks which need to counteract the negative effects of inactivity during international flights, and the cabin pressures of high altitudes are also Class I stockings.

Sport recovery stockings are Class I stockings and not used during the activity but after the activity.

  • Therapeutic or Treatment therapy – The use of Class II (Medium compression) stockings. These stockings are normally used once someone has been diagnosed with a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot.  Patients who have a confirmed insufficient venous status are definitely treated with Class II stockings.  The use of the stocking is to improve venous return past the blockage or occlusion of the vein.  This slightly higher grade of compression is designed specifically to counteract the effects of gravity and thus are too strong to sleep with – contrary to Class I stockings.

Patients with venous disease and poor venous return or recumbent varicose eczema and ulcers are also candidates for Class II stockings to improve circulation and prevent further complications and permanent damage.

Post mastectomy lymphoedema arm stockings are normally Class II stockings; arm stockings are normally a means of maintenance therapy and should be used in conjunction with a proper manual lymph drainage program.

Sport stockings, Performance and Active stockings are normally Class II stockings with a slightly different compression profile to the standard Class II stocking to enhance oxygen circulation during activity.

  • Therapeutic or Treatment therapy for further complications – Class III grade of compression stockings are normally used for aggravated lymphoedema which needs to be overcome; mild to severe arthrosclerosis; severe lipoedema and elephantiasis. Arm stockings can also be Class III stockings in severe cases.

Class IV stockings are also used in severely complicated cases but are the exception to the rule.  Class III and Class IV stockings are normally flat-knit garments and not the usual round knit varieties.

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Orthotics in Spinal surgery

Spinal surgery happens everyday, in fact more often than what we would like to know.  Reasons for spinal surgery vary from trauma induced injuries, pathology induced anomalies or degeneration.  Spinal surgery often involves the introduction of internal instrumentation which requires a recovery period of lower activity.  For this specific reason compression stockings are used in the initial recovery stages.  Lower spinal surgery often warrants the use of braces or corsets, and although the industry standard advocates minimalistic support, some patients just simply need the support. Cervical spinal surgery is always subject to some sort of neck support depending on the severity of the injury or conditio of the patients anatomy and risk profile.  Some frightening braces are available for equally frightening injuries but each medical case warrants it’s own prescription and it’s own treatment.

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Orthotics associated with Arthroplastic and Arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is not to be confused with arthroplastic surgery.  Arthroscopic surgery is minimal invasive surgery during which a finite diagnosis can be determined.  Minor repairs and surgical interventions can be done quite easily this way.

Arthroplasty is major joint replacement surgery which can be either – partial, total replacement or revision surgery.

These procedures often qualify for the use of anti-embolist stockings, post-operative walking aids (crutches or walking frames), toilet seat raiser devices, knee braces, ankle braces, fracture casts and arm immobililising slings.  These assistive devices may be used to wean or gradually implement rehabilitation.  The prescription of these assistive devices is entirely up to the discretion of the surgeon and the physiotherapist

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Orthotics for Ankle injuries

This is one of the most underestimated injuries in practice today.  Prophylactic measures are important if your sport subjects you to this kind of injury.  Contact sports and unfit athletes are the highest risk factors here.  As an exception to the rule the incidence of accidental ankle injuries due to stumbling or falling comprise a sizeable percentage of the statistics.

When you sustain an ankle injury it is important to monitor the condition critically to prevent further injury to the already injured ligament.  A visit to your local doctor and X-Ray department will help determine the extent of the injury and the indicated treatment to maximise the protection and minimalize the recovery period and possible permanent injury.  Ankle injuries often end up being diagnosed 5 to 7 days after the injury.  It can be categorically stated that ankle injuries are one of the most neglected injuries today.

Walker braces, ankle braces and ankle ligament augmentation surgery are the most effective treatment protocols in use today and often this recovery period is undertaken non-weight bearing.

Any ankle injury warrants permanent attentiveness and awareness to prevent it from happening again or aggravating the ligament status.

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Innersoles are the affectionate name for foot orthotics.  Foot orthotics serve to enable a problem foot to be supported and protected.  This is done to enable a patient to maintain their preferred activity or activity levels while favouring the foot position and condition.

In our practice every orthotic is custom manufactured to the dimensions and contours of the individual and a dynamic fitting process completes the process.  This is done with a negative mould of the patient’s foot.  The patient is evaluated and consulted with; to determine the exact problem and origin of the discomfort.  The RS Footscan proves to be a valuable asset in this entity and is used at the discretion of the practitioner.  Not only are dimensions and shapes important but also applications, type of shoes and gait are taken into account when designing and manufacturing a foot orthosis.

The diabetic foot, diabetics, plantar fasciitis, obesity, underlying pathology and higher activity individuals can all benefit from using orthotics.  Foot orthotics are indicated to limit the over-use or mechanical origin of the injury or discomfort and to address these issues to favour the foot and the individual.  This can be during work, recreation, hobbies or sport.  In congenital or trauma induced anomalies innersoles serve to enable a close to normal cadence and limit progression.

Foot orthotics are also classified as built op shoes, wedges, flares and offloading alterations to existing shoes.  These may be necessary for leg length discrepencies, poor anatomical alignment or simply pain relief.

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