Trying more calipers

My callipers
My calipers

Long time readers of this blog my remember that I tried wearing calipers as an alternative to splints a couple of years ago.

While they were better for me in some ways, like I could get them on and off myself, I blistered quite badly if I wore them for too long and so in the end I went back to my splints.

My AFO splints
My AFO splints

At the risk of repeating myself, I’ve had splints on and off for as long as I can remember but I don’t like them because I can’t get them on myself and I don’t find them comfortable

I recently made a video about this on my YouTube channel which you can watch here.

Anyway, not being able to wear my splints if there’s no one to put them on for me when I leave the house is becoming more and more of a problem, and so my orthotist and I have decided that  I’ll go back to calipers again, so that I can wear those and get some support if I have to put shoes on myself, and splints on the other days.

I’m a bit nervous but I hope it works.

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19 thoughts on “Trying more calipers

  1. I hope that you find that works for you…. Do you have to use certain shoes with calipers? or do you need special inserts in your shoes with them?

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      1. that makes sense, so basically you get the support from the boots too… I’m back to wearing mainly piedros now I’m only wearing the one splint, although I have an insole in the side without my splint to give me a little more support without being too much…. It’s just another thing to try!!! Are calipers as supportive as splints?

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      2. I much prefer tgem because I can put them on myself but I don’t feel that nice ankle stretch that you get from splints when you’ve had them on just the right amount of time. I feel quite unsteady in splints cause my left one still isn’t 100 per cent comfortable ans I have to go up three shoe sizes to wear them so my feet feel too big foet my body.

        How are you getting on with just one splint? Do you have to go up shoe sizes to fit them in? If you do how does that feel with one shoe bigger than the other?

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  2. I’m getting on ok with only wearing one splint thanks! I’m lucky that I don’t have to go up sizes in piedros as my right foot is slightly larger than my left (the one I still wear a splint on) so, with the insole in my right boot, it fits ok, the same with most trainers – not that I wear them very often! – I just have to lace them quite tight….. and be very selective on the styles I go for!!!
    I have kept my splint to wear when I’m having a bad cp day… and I’m wearing my resting splint more to keep it stretched. At my orthotics appointment last week, he said there’s a fine line between getting enough support and losing function….
    At the same appointment, I saw a physio who deals with stuff like postural support and positioning who assessed whether I need support with seating and find ways to compliment all the stretching I do….

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    1. Keeping it sounds like a good idea. I love my resting splints, I wish I could just wear those. Is your left side your more affected side? It is with me.

      How’d you get on with the posture stuff?

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      1. I love my resting splints too, I often wear them and my gaiters while sat watching tv or on my computer for hands free stretching!!!
        My left side is more affected, especially my leg…
        The posture stuff was interesting, I’m surprised no one had looked more into it before, he looked at how I sit, and gave me a few things to think about how I sit on a chair and how the chair is set up – really important now I have a job where I’m sat down most of the time now. I’m definitely going to look into getting a saddle seat, which could help stop my hips getting so tight when I’m sat down…. He also looked at simple ways I can get a bit of a stretch without using to much energy, most of which I do already, but always good to refresh! One of the major struggles I have is stretching my hips as they are so tight, so we re capped on things I have been doing with the physio I saw last, such as making sure I spend plenty of time on my front to stretch out my hip flexors… I now use a weighted sand bag across my pelvis to keep it flat and give me a deeper stretch. I tried a standing frame to help stretch them out too, and get me standing taller, as I found that really helped at times when I was little and when I have been recovering from operations. Although that is probably not going to be a permanent thing as I’m unlikely to get funding for one of my own because I can stand un aided….

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  3. I have a few sessions booked with him and he’s going to get me to use the standing frame for part of every session so that if it makes a lot of difference, we can at least try to get it funded or maybe even look into getting one myself. The problem is they aren’t widely used for adults with cp…

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  4. for the one that I would use it would cost around 800- 1000 pounds brand new, but you can get second hand ones a lot cheaper….. We are going to look into how difference using one a few times makes first – although if last week was anything to go by, I felt I got a lot out of it…. It felt great being able to stand up really straight with both feet flat, knees back and hips forward nicely without using a huge amount of effort and feeling that at any moment I might lose balance…. I felt like I got a good stretch too!!
    Yet another thing to consider… I’ve also started looking at saddle seats, but they are expensive for a good quality one with the right amount of support…. maybe I should do the lottery!!!

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    1. How do standing frames work. I guess if you do get a lot out of it then it would be worth every penny. In terms of getting an adductor stretch I gues I’m quite luc because I can cross my legs so that helps. Can you put one leg out to the side and rest your foot against the side of the opposite knee if thst makes sense? I find that really helps, especially if I put a wheat bag on the adductor at the same time. To stretch my ankles I stand on our bottom step holding on to the handrails with my heels hanging over the end and push down

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      1. Basically standing frames work by holding you in an properly aligned standing position although there loads of different types depending on how much support a person requires.
        The type I have used you step into the back and the support comes mainly from in front. It has footplates that your feet are strapped into to keep the flat and pointing forward, then it has knee pads that keep your knees straight and can also keep them slightly apart. It has a plate that is level with your pelvis that when you’re strapped in with a belt that fastens around your hips/bottom, stops your pelvis from rotating. The belt gets tightened so that your hips/bottom gets pushed forward. Then there’s a strap that goes around your lower/middle torso to keep that aligned to stop you bending forward too much – although I don’t really need that to keep me upright, it’s just part of the frame…. I can do a similar adductor stretch with my less affected side. I’m still using my abductor to get a stretch when I’m long sitting which helps, so does using my peanut ball…. I do a similar ankle stretch over the stairs too when I get chance…. It’s really affective if I wear my gaiter on my left (more affected) side to get a deeper stretch, where it stops my knee from bending… Another way the physio mentioned the other day to get some good hands free stretching in is to wear my gaiter on my left side while standing doing stuff like ironing or in the kitchen, where I don’t need to walk too much, so my foot is kept flatter and I can practice side stepping without my knee bending….

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      2. The standing frame sounds like it would hurt after a while. I think I’d be too afraid of falling over if I had to wear a leg gaiter without holding onto my frame. I can walk in them if I’m in my frame though. I had to wear them constantly dor 6 weeks after one of my operations and was only allowed to take them off to wash or do physio.

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  5. I found it really comfortable, but I can imagine it might hurt a bit if you used it for too long a bit like if you’ve over stretched or getting used to new splints…..
    I stay near things I can grab hold of when standing and walking with a gaiter on just in case…although I don’t stand or walk with gaiters on both legs, I find that really difficult as my legs are slightly different lengths. So I can’t lift my longer leg off the ground properly with a gaiter on…
    I had to wear mine constantly for a few weeks after an operation too, makes life interesting doesn’t it?!

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    1. It certainly does, especially trying to sit down! My legs are slightly different lengths too. When I had my surgery a doctor came to see me with some students and was pointing out things about me that were common in people with CP, and he said that having one side longer than the other is one of them. I also have one foot bigger than the other.

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  6. Hi Nic. As a calliper wearer for 32 years (I’m 41) due to spinal injuries I agree with you about the plastic splints. I found them most uncomfortable and difficult to put on. I wear an inside calliper and a boot that’s built up and out on my left foot and I’m trying a carbon fibre afo on my right leg. The carbon brace is apparently very expensive and was made in Germany. I look forward to seeing more posts about your new bracing, and possibly a YouTube video??
    M.

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