Neck Braces, Rigid Collars, Cervical Orthoses – A Guide to Strengthening the C Spine – Part 7

What are the different types of CTOs?

Different types of CTOs exist today. Some are prefabricated and others are custom made. Typically, custom braces require plaster and measurements. This process takes about an hour, unless an orthotist (orthosis specialist) can get a very good cast of the patient using fiberglass material. This means that the patient must be cast in a position that allows the prosthetist to wrap around the head, neck and body of the patient in a sitting or standing position.

Where do you get a CTO?

Daily care and hygiene measures to consider when using a CTO

A good hygiene program helps prevent skin problems or pressure sores. Although the brace fits you well, it is possible that you are sitting in an unbalanced position from time to time and this can cause the brace to sit differently. – If your CTO is dirty, it should be washed inside with mild soap and water. Make sure your skin is also clean when you apply the CTO. If you wear these braces long enough, perspiration will occur and cleaning is a good idea.

Special instructions for individuals assisting a patient with their CTO

1.) Avoid using forces or lotions on the patient’s skin where the CTO will be applied. While you may try to help the patient, these things can soften the skin and cause skin breakdown when combined with braces.

2.) If the skin is red or ulcerated, call the orthotist who gave you the brace. They can fill the area around an ulcer or sore on the skin to provide relief in many cases.

3.) Patients requiring moderate to maximal assistance should be continuously observed for the position of their CTO. Check the position of the chin and the position of the shoulder aspects of the Orthosis to ensure a proper fit.

4.) The brace should always be worn snug, not loose. If the brace is worn loosely, the spine can move and this can cause serious problems for the patient.

5.) Whenever the patient is moved, either from the bed to another location, check the position of the CTO. It is important that there is no excessive gap over the shoulders or under the chin.

Insurance and CTOs

One of the added benefits of working with a licensed orthotist at an “O&P” (orthetics and prosthetics) company is that they can help you bill your insurance for this brace or other orthopedic braces. These types of braces are often reimbursed by insurance. If it is not fully covered, often a large part of the orthosis (orthopaedic braces) is covered, reducing your deductible.

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Note: This is health information. Medical advice on braces should be provided by your local qualified and available orthotist. This information can be useful, of course, but it is best to get medical advice on braces from these local brace specialists.