When Vicki Radebaugh first came to CPO, she was in the same wheelchair she had occupied for six months. “My doctors told me I’d probably be there forever,” said Vicki. She suffered from a hereditary foot condition that caused the bones in her feet to slowly deteriorate. “I had unknowingly broken my foot but continued to walk on it,” she says. “When I finally had surgery, it was too late – it had healed improperly and I had overcompensated with my other foot for far too long.” As a result, not only was she in a wheelchair, but on a multitude of medications for pain, high blood pressure and depression.
After being referred to CPO, she was fitted with an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO). “I tried it on and it felt wonderful,” she says. “I immediately felt the difference when I had that brace on.”
Since that day, life has changed dramatically for Vicki – for the better. “I can get the mail, I can mow the lawn, I can four-wheel and go-cart with the kids. Sometimes I’ll start dancing, and my kids look at me like I’m crazy – they forgot how goofy I am!” Incredibly, her overall health has improved as well. “I am no longer on my blood pressure medication or antidepressants,” she says proudly. “I truly believe they saved my life.”
David Parker wears a prosthetic below the knee on his left leg, and an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) on his right leg.
According to David, before coming to CPO, he wore an orthosis on the left leg that had been altered for a better fit, causing it to rub against his skin. Since David suffers from diabetes, he didn’t feel that a sore was developing. In the end, it became necessary for his leg to be amputated just below the knee. That’s when he turned to CPO.
Because of complications from his arthritis, David has bone rubbing against bone in his right foot. CPO fitted him with the current orthosis that he has worn for about a year now. “I wear it all the time, unless I’m in bed,” he explains. “It reduces the pain.”
The orthosis requires that David wear special shoes. “I get my shoes right here at CPO,” he says. “They last longer and are much better. Buying them from other places…they just fall apart.”
David describes the staff at CPO as fabulous. “They care. They’ll come in anytime…after 5:00, on weekends…they’re wonderful.”
Nancy suffers from drop foot, and had polio as a child. Growing up, she wore a brace below the knee. As she got older, she used a cane. When she fell and broke her hip, she never thought she’d walk again.
Over the years, she wore a number of devices, which never seemed to be quite right. While wearing her last one, she felt so off balance that she fell. “I was frustrated and crying…it just didn’t work.”
The CPO team’s first device was a very high-tech design from a manufacturer in California. “It didn’t fit right,” said Nancy. So they tried again, designing a custom Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis for her. “This is a completely different design. It supports my foot differently and uses a different set of materials.”
Nancy notes that the stockinette that was recommended she start wearing under the brace keeps it from rubbing as well as wicks away perspiration. “It’s the little things like that,” she says. “No one was willing to spend the time with me that these folks have.”