A brace is designed to protect a limb while supporting joint alignment, and improving functional movement. During a bracing evaluation, the healthcare provider will perform a thorough inspection of a person’s mobility. He or she will determine the goals and needs of the patient before the brace is fabricated, or chosen.
When a brace is fabricated specifically for an individual, many aspects of the patient’s life have to be taken into consideration. The weight and type of brace is important, whether the person is sedentary, or participates in sports, or if visibility of the brace is a concern for the patient.
Other factors that are considered during a bracing evaluation include: how easy it is to put on—and remove—as well as the complication of application. If a patient is unable to apply the brace on his or her own, he or she will need home assistance. The healthcare provider might also prescribe other ambulatory aids to assist the braces.
After the bracing evaluation, fabrication, and fitting another clinical evaluation will take place. This is the last bracing evaluation and includes an inspection for pressure points, and observation of movement and normal daily tasks. The ultimate goal is for the patient to use the brace. This can be ensured through proper communication and fittings during bracing evaluations.