Collier Orthotics Hospital On-Call Services

Collier O&P is committed to having a practitioner available for after hours, weekends, and Holiday services. For our team to serve you effectively and timely please consider the time frames below for our practitioners to provide superior patient care.

Hospital on-call services for orthotic patients.

1. Early morning orders received by phone before 12:00pm will be serviced from 11:30 to 1:00pm.

2. Orders received by phone after 12:00pm will be serviced by end of business day.

We can fit your patients for any of the following off-the-shelf products with same day service:

  • Spine
  • Hip
  • Knee Orthoses
  • Minerva CTO
  • Cervical Post-Op Management
  • AFO
  • Helmets
  • Fracture Management

Custom TLSO’s: Our team is committed to a 24 hour turn around on TLSO devices.

For us to be successful and meet your expectations, orders are to be called in by 3:00pm. This will allow a 3-hour window to get the patient evaluated, casted/measured and their device manufactured for guaranteed next day delivery. For after hours care please call 510-502-3515.

 

Arthritis knee pain flaring up with the change in weather?

knee pain relief graphic

An unloader knee brace is specifically designed for treating arthritis knee pain.

Do your bones ache when the weather changes?  Does your osteoarthritis knee pain prevent you from enjoying your daily activities? Studies show that cold, wet weather negatively affects people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 

For osteoarthritis knee pain relief, you need a prescription from your doctor for an unloader-style knee brace. A custom-fitted unloader knee orthosis (brace) has a range of settings to dial in to make the brace as comfortable as possible. Your practitioner should be able to show you how to use the different settings.

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Solutions

An OA brace can relieve bone-on-bone joint pain and slow down the degenerative process. Dynamic OA braces open the joint only when the leg is extended and the most pain relief is needed. No pressure is applied when the leg is bent. With dynamic unloading, these braces are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Treatment with the correct knee brace can relieve most osteoarthritis symptoms:

  • Pain, after overuse or after long periods of inactivity
  • Aching and soreness of the joints
  • Stiffness after periods of rest, swelling of the joints.

Cold weather brings on aches and pains – it is not your imagination. Most common in weight-bearing joints, the pain can settle into your knees, hips and ankles. It is important to remember that stiffness is one of your body’s early warning signs. If the symptoms persist, be sure to check in with your doctor. If stiffness and joint pain persist it might be a sign that you have arthritis, and you want to address the issue as soon as possible with your doctor to prevent further progression.

The Collier-Laurence Orthotic Team works with your doctor and other care providers to find the correct knee orthosis (brace) for your diagnosis. We have these tips for those who might be shopping for an osteoarthritis knee brace:

1)     How many patients does the facility see monthly? The busiest clinics tend to have the more experienced practitioners.

2)     Look for an orthosis (brace) recommended by your doctor for your specific condition. How many different OA braces do they offer to patients?

a.     Petite style

b.     Large styles

c.     Valgus / varus

d.     Custom / off the shelf

e.     Hand Dexterity problems

f.      Sports related

3)     Do they have a return policy on braces that don’t provide pain relief? Will they provide other options?

4)     Your brace can’t help you if you don’t wear it regularly. If your brace is uncomfortable or pinching, contact the provider and they should be able to make adjustments for a better fit.

Additional Reading:

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to manage the pain and slow down the progression of arthritis. Although it maybe difficult, staying active is important. Make sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist for appropriate exercises for your condition.

What causes so much pain in my knees?

The stages of Osteoarthritis

Practitioner Paul Easterwood – Certified Orthotic Assistant & Certified Pedorthist

From creative baker to creating orthoses

Paul’s journey from orthotic tech to his dream job of helping patients at Laurence and Collier O and P.

Paul was a full time assistant baker and head cake decorator in 2002. The hours were early — he remembers the alarm clock going off at 3am and thinking, is this what I want to do with my life?

In the summer of 2002, I met Bob Jensen and he hired me as an orthotic technician. The work was part time at first – after I finished my day at the bakery I would drive to Laurence Orthopedic and begin my shift modifying and fabricating custom arch supports. My background in art made this a pretty natural transition for me, and I found the job challenging but fun. After a few months, I was hired full time as an orthotic and prosthetic technician and left my job at the bakery.

I would study foot anatomy books and ask questions about everything. I really wanted to understand why I was doing what I was doing, what function did this modification serve? How does this affect how the foot orthotic feels on the patient’s foot?

Over the next few years I worked with the technicians at Laurence, learning how to fabricate AFO’s, knee braces, spine braces and prosthetics of all kinds.

I was constantly learning something new and developing my own techniques for fabricating devices. Our fabrication was pretty efficient in those days but I still thought we could to better, I created a workflow board and job tracking to get the lab more organized. With fabricating knowledge, I started shadowing the clinicians at Laurence helping with patient care. I found this was what I truly loved to do. I took a certified fitter course, took my board certification exam and became a certified orthotic fitter.

I continued to fabricate as well as see patients. Most of my time was spent seeing patients and overseeing fabrication as the lab supervisor. I still wanted more so I went back to college. Nights and weekends were spent going to class and falling asleep with books. I then went on to take my boards in 2008 to become a Certified Orthotic Assistant to further my patient care scope of practice.

At this point my focus was almost all on patient care, casting, fitting and follow up of my patients, going to clinics and assisting in the formulation of design for the devices I was providing. I was seeing a lot of people with ankle and foot dis-function — it is something that is complex and challenging. It is satisfying to me if I can help someone regain a function or reduce some pain with their daily activities.

With a lot of my focus on the foot and ankle I attended the Francis Tuttle Pedorthic Program.

In 2017 I took my board certification and became a Certified Pedorthist. I still like to fabricate but my heart is for helping people by making a small difference in someone’s life and seeing how it affects them is what drives me. I have patients that were once active; hikers, runners and even some marathon runners they have come in, now dragging their foot as they walk, hoping that anything will help. I talk to them about their goals, “What do you want this brace to do for you?” most of the time the answer is walk without stumbling. Some of those people have returned to their active lifestyle, as much as they tell me I’ve helped them it’s gratifying for me to see how much it helps them.

I look forward to working tougher cases in ankle and foot orthotics. I love to teach people what I know, so ultimately having a bigger team to teach and learn from is what I look forward to over the next few years.

You can contact Paul Easterwood at our Oakland Office at 510-658-2062.
Collier Family of Companies
Sacramento, Pleasant Hill, Oakland

Now part of the Collier Family – Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics

Laurence Orthopedic is now associated with Collier Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Laurence Orthopedic was established by Matt Laurence in 1946 and has been providing prosthetic and orthotic patient care services to the Oakland and the East Bay communities for over 70 years.
Laurence Orthopedic specializes in orthotic treatment for scoliosis and clubfoot and state-of-the-art prosthetic services for veterans with limb loss.

Director of Prosthetics George Villarruel talks about the Collier-Laurence transition.

My name is George Villarruel, Director of Prosthetics at Collier-Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics. I want to speak about the additions-acquisition of Laurence Orthotics and Prosthetics into the Collier Family. This will allow us to service new accounts and to spread our philosophy of compassion and service to the orthotics and prosthetics communities. We feel we can provide excellent service to the pediatric and adult populations in need of an orthotic or prosthetic device.

Continue to our website for help with your orthosis or prosthesis.

Pediatric Case Study: Helping a young patient transition to wearing a prosthesis.

On a recent Monday afternoon, Harmony was meeting with practitioner George Villarruel for her final fitting for the new prosthesis she will wear.

Harmony was born as a congenital right trans radial amputee. Now that she was getting older, her parents wanted to give her an opportunity for bi manual function.

pediatric prosthesis

Laura Kendall (left), Harmony (right) without devices and wearing their prosthesis.

Over about 5 visits, George has been working with Harmony for fittings and preparing her for some of the challenges when adapting to a prosthesis. In fact, George thought it could be helpful to Harmony and her parents to speak with someone who has lived as an amputee since birth. Laura Kendall, a long-time congenital left trans radial patient, came to the office to meet the family. Harmony’s parents were thrilled to connect with someone who really understood their daughter’s challenges – and Laura had such a happy, positive attitude that reinforces with Harmony that life is not about what you don’t have, it is about what you can achieve.

Harmony is eager and excited to use her new prosthesis when it is finished in the next week. You can learn more about Laura’s story here.

 

pediatric practitionereGeorge Villarruel has trained our team in all aspects of care for young patients and their families. His psychology background helps him understand patient care and help our patients heal on the outside and the inside. If you have a question you can contact George below.

 

Local Orthopedist Volunteers with Operation Rainbow, Healing Patients Around the World

Operation Rainbow provides life-changing medical care to more than 80,000 children and young adults, including more than 18,000 surgeries in 19 developing countries.

Millions around the world live everyday with the pain caused by congenital birth defects and accidents. In the poverty-stricken countries where many of these children live, public healthcare is lacking and families are too poor to address illness or injury as it arises, and they have given thousands of patients the opportunity for a better life.

Generous donors and volunteers are key in helping us change their lives for the better. Last year, Operation Rainbow performed more than 460 free surgeries and treated more than 6,500 other patients for orthopedic and other medical conditions not requiring surgery. The Operation Rainbow team completed 11 medical missions to communities in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti and the West Bank. Part of their mission is to educate local health professionals to encourage medical self-sufficiency.

All team members are volunteers who participate without compensation on their own time. Without the generous donation of supplies from vendors and assistance from friends and family they couldn’t do this work. And there is so much work to do.

You can help educate others about Operation Rainbow by sharing this message, donating or volunteering.

http://Operationrainbow.org

Jon Boone works at Roseville Kaiser orthopedic department as The Senior Orthopedic Technician. He has referred patients to Collier for many years and we have donated orthopedic bracing supplies to the Operation Rainbow since 2009.

“Other than my first mission that was ‘eye opening ‘, the most memorable was our mission to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Many children had lost everything… their homes and families and still they would sing songs and help each other as they recovered from injuries. Being able to take my skills and apply it helping those less fortunate makes all the time and expense worthwhile,” says Boone.

Jon’s first mission was to Ecuador in 2009. Since then, he has made 16 missions to Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Mexico. His next mission is to Honduras.

Pediatric Case Study – Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Instability

Patient Challenge:

Sophia’s mother was concerned that Sophia always slouched severely and seemed to be in pain. She also always looked down, and could not make eye contact with those around her.

spinal instability, cerebral palsyCollier Resolution:

Practitioner Brian Lee cast Sophia sitting upright to maintain lumbar and kyphotic curves in the ideal position, and with appropriate scapular adduction and shoulder retraction. Secondarily, the goal was to maintain her cervical spine in extension.

Over the last 6 months, Mom has reported that Sophia seems happier, and is able to look up and see the world around her and, most importantly, make eye contact.

Collier Practitioner Brian Lee, CPO is CCS Paneled and bilingual in Spanish. You can read his bio here.

A community for spinal cord injury survivors

SCI Active Network is a positive network that connects Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) survivors and their families through peer mentoring, and empowers an active lifestyle towards mobility, independence, and a higher quality of life.

Troy is a spinal cord injury survivor and Founder/ CEO of SCI Active Network – a community for spinal cord injury survivors. They welcome survivors AND their families to join and participate so they can network, learn and be supportive of their loved one – and their loved one can connect to those with similar life challenges.

A Collier patient since 2004, Troy received an RGO through Kaiser Rehabilitation in Vallejo. Troy has been using his RGO therapeutically with a walker, as well as at home and during public demonstrations. Troy started mentoring patients and therapists on how RGO’s work, and he saw a real need for peers to connect to share valuable information and encouragement.
Since 2015, Troy has worked to connect, support and encourage SCI survivors to be active in living life. Spinal Cord Injury Active Network has trained peer mentors to visit, speak and teach classes at Northern California Rehabilitation Centers and community events in the Bay Area.
SCI Active Network also hosts over a dozen family-inclusive activities a year at different locations throughout Northern California, plus provide a monthly support network meeting in Solano County, CA.
One of the most important missions for founder Troy Plunkett is the Share-A-Chair program. Donated lightweight wheelchairs are provided to survivors in need to increase their mobility, independence, and quality of life.
Spinal Cord Injury Active Network is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible. You can donate, volunteer or participate by visiting their website at sciactivenetwork.org.

Troy Plunkett, sci active network

SCI Active Network
P.O. Box 3434
Vallejo, CA 94590

info@sciactivenetwork.org

Sacramento Region Wheelchair Basketball Program

wheelchair basketball sacramento

Andre Christian, father of a boy who received a prosthetic made by J.R. Brandt at our Sacramento location, reached out to us with an update about his son’s achievements.

Stephen Christian, wheelchair basketball

This photo was taken after Stephen pushed his wheelchair for 15 miles on the American River Bike Trail. Stephen is a Warrior!

“Our son Stephen has been the beneficiary of a prosthetic made by J.R. in your Sacramento facility and was under his care for a couple of years. Last year Stephen joined a wheelchair basketball program and it was truly life changing for him. The friendships, flying to tournaments, discipline from weekly training, learning to overcoming challenges, independence, working as a team and the increase in his confidence was truly remarkable.”

Do you know someone in the greater Sacramento area who wants to experience the many benefits and FUN of our wheelchair basketball program? Please share this post.

Christian Rodriguez with the Sacramento Royals, works to create opportunities for physically challenged persons. The JV Team practices at the Sacramento YMCA (downtown on W), and there is a Recreational Team which competes through the Northern California Recreational League. He can be reached at 916-228-1755 or visit sacroyals.com.

wheelchair basketball sacramento

The Sacramento Royals

We are sharing the Sacramento Royals Wheelchair Basketball Program recruiting flyer, aimed at youth 10-18 years for their JV Team, or high school ages for their Recreational Team. The Sacramento Royals practice at the YMCA on W Street in Sacramento. You can visit their website at sacroyals.com.

Prosthetic Case Study – Trans Tibial Amputee

Mikhaila Rutherford is 26 years old and, and has a new articulating ankle. This allows her to be more ambulatory and ready to enjoy her new career in nursing without the hassles and limitations of her old and worn out prosthetic device.

Four years ago, Mikhaila came to our lead prosthetic practitioner with some challenges:

  1. She would be challenging to fit due to multiple surgeries to resolve her subluxating patella (knee cap).
  2. A short trans tibial residual limb.
  3. Her current foot did not allow for any flexibility when walking on slopes of any kind.

George was able to get approval through the insurance for the best possible device for Mikhaila. Watch the video to see how she demonstrates her new prosthesis with an articulating ankle.

Mikhaila was fit with an Alps AKDT locking liner and Patellar Tendon Bearing Supra Patellar Supra Condylar (PTB SCSP) socket design to help stabilize her knee in the medial lateral plane. For her last fitting, she was provided a foot with an articulating hydraulic ankle which can accommodate going up and down sloped terrain.

Mikhaila can now get back to daily living with a lot more mobility when hiking and being outdoors. We look forward to hearing about her new career as a nurse when she comes back for a check up.

Mikhaila has been a patient of George Villarruel at Collier O and P. If you would like to see more of our patient success stories, visit our patient outcomes page.

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