Cervical Thoracic Orthosis (CTO)
1.) Purpose of a CTO
The purpose of a CTO is to help support the cervical portion of an individual’s spine. When we refer to the cervical spine, we are talking about C1-C7. * (It is important to note that the word “orthosis” refers to an “external support” or “brace” throughout this article.) A CTO helps to limit motion of the cervical spine and an individuals skull by limiting rotational movements. It will also help to support and inhibit both cervical and capital flexion and extension. Your doctor should always be the person to tell you how long to wear your CTO and for what activity levels. In general, you will find that a CTO will be worn until a cervical spinal fusion is accomplished, or your injury type has healed. From this kind of brace, you may find that it is time to wean into a cervical collar.
2.) Off The Shelf vs. Custom CTOs
Many off the shelf designs exist currently and the bonus to using one of these types of off the shelf braces is that you typically do not have to wait for the orthosis to be fabricated. This means that you (or your patients) can) can get it very quickly. Having said this, it is also important to note that it is hard to beat the support and fit of a custom made CTO. Typically, casts and measurements are used to optimize the fit and function of a CTO, or any other custom made brace. Custom CTOs can really accommodate for a patient’s back curvature or neck shape, in a way that some off the shelf braces fall short.
3.) How To Find A Company Near You That Makes CTOs – Chicago Example
Probably one of the most common ways that people find a brace company these days is by searching on the internet. If you go to Google and type in “CTO” or “Cervical Thoracic Orthosis” and “Chicago” you will most likely find a brace company in your area that can help you get this kind of device. Remember, you are searching for orthopedic braces here. Some sites will pop up that focus on the teeth. You can also type in “CTO” and the zip code number “60611” if you wish to get more specific. These are general examples that can be applied across the board no matter where you live.