Sunday, April 10, 2011

Neck Braces, Rigid Collars, Cervical Orthoses - A Guide on Bracing The C-Spine - Part 6

CTO - Cervical Thoracic Orthosis - Their Function and Where To Get This Brace

What is a CTO?

The acronym stands for "cervical thoracic orthosis". As you will see with almost any acronym for bracing, the acronym starts with a letter that is closest to the head and distally (away from the head). You will see that this is the case for braces for the legs, arms and back.

The CTO is used to help support someone's cervical and thoracic spine. In specific, this orthosis (brace) is designed to support the cervical portion of the spine from C1 - C7. Sometimes to support a lower level of the cervical spine, however, you need to have the brace end lower than the injury level. - The CTO is designed to limit the motion of the cervical spine and skull, by stopping rotational movements and cervical capital flexion and extension.

What Does a CTO Do?

These orthopedic braces limit movement. More movement than that of a rigid collar. This is not necessarily a bad thing either. For example, after a surgery someone may need to be provided with this kind of orthosis to help act as an insurance policy for the surgeon's work. In other words, this orthosis (brace) will help to prevent a flexing or twisting movement that can ruin the surgical correction that was achieved. Typically, a rigid collar will extend down to a patient's clavicle area, where as a CTO will extend down to approximately the xyphoid process (or mid chest region).

A cervical thoracic orthosis can also be used for a fracture that has occurred in the superior portion of the thoracic spine (a high thoracic fracture) or a cervical fracture that is more serious in nature. - When you limit the motion at these segments, you improve upon the body's ability to heal itself. The brace does not heal you, but it does help to stop harmful movements that can easily occur at an injury level.

Who Are The People That Provide CTOs?

Today, many medical professionals can provide a cervical brace or a cervical thoracic orthosis. However, we believe that it is best to work with a local, licensed orthotist in your area when you get any type of orthopedic brace. Why? When a patient wears a CTO (whether it is custom or prefabricated) the person usually has a very serious diagnosis. A CTO is a special kind of brace which comes with a specific set of important instructions. This means that an orthotist should give you as much detailed information as possible when they provide the brace.

Note: This is health information, not medical advice. We believe that you can learn something from this information, but it is best to work with a licensed orthotist in your area for medical advice on bracing.

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