054 332 1095

A step ahead.

Welcome to Marais Orthotists

As qualified medical orthotists & prosthetists, we treat people with physical limitations resulting from illness, trauma or developmental defects. We work hand-in-hand with other allied health professions, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dieticians. Together, we come up with an optimal approach to treat each individual case in a holistic manner.

Our part in this process is to create external devices to replace or enhance the function of a certain body part. We design, manufacture, customise, and fit all braces and prostheses for each patient individually. For instance, in the case of an amputation of the leg, we will create a prosthesis (artificial limb) to replace the lost limb.

We are ideally located in the same street in Upington as the MediClinic, orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapy practices.

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Our Services

Custom made foot-orthotics and diabetic foot wear

Our feet are what get us from A to B, yet we spend most of our lives ignoring foot problems, thinking that there are more important things to worry about. The simple truth is that by taking good care of our feet we can avoid a whole range of conditions which may develop later in life because of minor foot problems. Misalignment of the ankle joint due to poor foot structure may lead to knee, hip and back pain/problems. The good news is that something can be done about your funny feet!

Through proper evaluation and measuring Marais Orthotists can manufacture innersoles that support and maintain proper foot structure throughout your gait cycle. Custom foot orthotics can also be used to off-load specific pressure points on the bottom of the foot. This is especially beneficial to anyone who struggles with recurrent ulceration for instance diabetic patients.

Another thing to consider concerning the feet is proper footwear. The saying “a shoe is a shoe is a shoe” is definitely not true! Come and have a look at what we offer in orthopaedic shoes – with shoes that fit well and offers proper support your feet will not just look good, they will feel great too.

Prosthetics

Losing a limb is a life altering experience. It is said to be one of the most traumatic events that a person can experience. Overcoming this crippling condition can seem impossible. Learning to walk again will definitely take courage and perseverance. The important thing is just to never give up.

For people with lower limb amputations prostheses are a must. Nobody can be at their best if they have to sit in a wheelchair or walk around with crutches all the time. You want to be on your feet, able to use your hands for working, waving or whatever! So, getting to a prosthetist after your amputation (or before if possible) should be one of your top priorities.

The rehabilitation following amputation starts almost immediately following surgery. A rigid dressing can be wrapped around the residual limb to help shape the limb in such a way that a prosthesis will fit more easily. This can be done while the wound is still healing. As soon as the wound is healed it is time to start the process of measuring and fitting your first prosthesis! This process applies to arms as well as legs.

After achieving a perfect fit your real rehab starts. Now it is time to start using your prosthesis. Whether it is an arm or a leg, you will have to practice using it and it will take some time for you to get used to the new addition to your body. Having a prosthesis that fits well, looks neatly worked off and is built specifically for its intended use helps to move this process along smoothly.

Where does the prosthetist fit into this picture? We do the following:

  • Consult with patient before amputation. This gives us an opportunity to inform the patient about realistic outcomes following amputation. It also gives us time to briefly outline the steps in the rehabilitation process that will begin after the amputation.
  • Apply rigid dressing after amputation while the patient is still in hospital.
  • Evaluate patient to determine what components to use when making the prosthesis. There are so many parts to choose from that it will drive you insane trying to figure out which ones are the best for you.

Luckily, finding the right components for every specific patient is part of our job, so you don’t have to worry about it.

  • Measure the residual limb and manufacture a socket for the limb to fit into.
  • Fit the socket to the residual limb to make sure that the fit is perfect.
  • Manufacture the complete prosthesis when the socket fits.
  • Educate the patient about the use of- and care for the prosthesis.
  • Maintenance on prosthesis.

Basically, the prosthetist does everything related to the prosthesis. It is our wish to see every single person who has an amputation live a normal life without limitations. Wearing a prosthesis that fits well and has been made for your specific needs will en-able you to do the things that you love!

Spinal orthotics

We all know how pain limits our activity levels and robs us of our quality of life! Back pain is no exception to this rule! Most people experience back pain from time to time due to physical exertion or injury, but what to do when the pain simply will not go away?

If you are suffering from chronic pain and fatigue in the lower back, maybe it is time to do something about it! Marais Orthotists supply and fit easy to use back braces. The soft elastic materials used in these braces ensure a good fit for almost any body type and can comfortably be worn under your clothing. Pain and poor posture due to spinal instability or muscle weakness can be effectively treated with the use of soft back braces. Bracing should always be used together with a training program to strengthen the back muscles.

More serious conditions of the spine like compression fractures of vertebral bodies or recovery after spinal fusions require a higher level of stabilization. In these cases a hard/rigid back brace needs to be made to effectively immobilize the affected segment of the spine. These braces are made according to a mould that is taken of the upper body so that your brace will fit your body like a glove.

The same process can be done for children or infants who suffer from scoliosis. Scoliosis is a condition characterised by a sideways curvature of the spine. Any curve of the spine towards either the left or right side of the body is unnatural and should be monitored closely because if left unchecked it could lead to serious problems. Bracing of the scoliotic spine has been tested as an effective tool in slowing down, stopping and in some cases even reversing the spine’s sideways curve in children who are still growing. Scoliosis does not resolve itself and in fact usually gets worse if left untreated.

As is the case with any illness or disease, early detection leads to a better cure!

Compression therapy

A very broad spectrum of problems can be managed with compression therapy. Compression therapy refers to any treatment where pressure bandages or, in most cases, compression stockings are used to combat a disease or its symptoms. A few common uses for compression stockings are:

  • In hospital following surgery (especially orthopaedic surgery) to promote blood flow in the legs and so prevent formation of blood clots.
  • Used in the treatment of varicose veins. Keeps the blood flowing away from the legs back towards the heart so that it does not pool in the veins and cause further damage, discomfort or pain.
  • Promotes wound healing in cases where poor blood flow is a contributing factor to the disease/condition, for instance diabetic ulcers.
  • To reduce swelling caused by either injury or chronic conditions.
  • Reduce and manage swelling caused by the removal of lymph glands (a common problem following mastectomy surgery).
  • Relieves symptoms of pain and tiredness in aching legs.
  • Prevents formation of varicose veins in cases where body weight suddenly increases over a short period of time. An excellent example of this is during pregnancy.

Following a mastectomy (amputation of the breast), compression can be used to control swelling of the arm and hand. Orthotists/prosthetists supply all garments related to breast surgery, as well as breast prostheses for women who opted against reconstruction surgery.

These are just a few examples, compression therapy has many more uses and there are almost endless variations of how to use it most effectively. We stock a wide variety of compression garments for the more common conditions such as varicose veins. For opinion and advice on how to use compression therapy always consult a trained medical professional. If used incorrectly, compression can be dangerous!

Sports bracing

We offer a wide variety of off-the-shelf sports bracing. We stock most braces for all common sports injuries e.g ankle sprains or shoulder injuries. Only quality products from internationally recognized suppliers are used. To ensure that your rehabilitation progresses smoothly we personally measure and fit every brace to each individual patient. Before deciding on a brace though, it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor or physiotherapist for an in depth diagnosis of your injury.

Walking aids, wheelchairs and home nursing

If you are looking for crutches to help you get by while your ankle heals, you are looking in the right place! We keep crutches of various lengths and strengths in stock. And for those who are a little hesitant to trust the crutches, we can assist with a walking frame. The walking frames that we keep in store are sturdy and stable while also being able to fold up neatly for easy transport or storage. The front “legs” are interchangeable with wheels for the elderly who just want to push the frame along instead of lifting it. The more complex three- and four wheel walkers can be ordered on request.

The same goes for all our home nursing equipment. Except for our toilet seat raisers (which we have readily available) all other home nursing appliances are ordered in on request. These items include shower chairs, bath chairs and commodes to name a few. All of these are made from waterproof materials that can be easily cleaned.

We also supply wheelchairs. From the most basic temporary use wheelchair to the most sophisticated mobility scooter, we can help you find what you need. Unfortunately we do not stock any wheelchairs, but we make it priority to get your chair here in the shortest time possible. Other mobility solutions are also available, buggies for children with Cerebral Palsy or automated wheelchairs for patients with paraplegia, come and talk to us and we can make a plan that will suit your specific needs!

Meet your Orthotist

Adriaan Marais

Adriaan Marais completed his National Diploma in Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics at the Tshwane University of Technology, graduating in 2013 with the award for the Best Practical Student. He followed this with a B. Tech degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics, also from the Tshwane University of Technology. Following his studies, Adriaan gained experience as an orthotist and prosthetist while working at Deist & Associates in Pretoria for 3 years. He currently lives in Upington in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Why Choose Us

Quality products

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We only make use of the finest quality off-the- shelf products to ensure that our patients get the best results from their treatment. Latex or other possible skin irritants are avoided, making it perfect for sensitive skin. Our custom made items are all made from medical grade materials and top class components and hand finished to perfection.

Customised

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No two people have the exact same anatomy, which is why we customise our orthotics to fit each individual patient. Better fit leads to better patient compliance which leads to more successful treatment outcomes.

Professional service

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Because we are serious about our service, we offer a free follow-up on all custom made items. This includes minor modifications to optimize fit and function of the device where necessary.

Location

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Marais Orthotists is situated in Du Toit Street within a few metres of the MediClinic Hospital, orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapy practices. We are also one of the only Orthotic/Prosthetic practices in the Northern Cape with Kimberley.

Contact Us

17 Du Toit Street, Oosterville
Upington, Northern Cape
South Africa, 8801
054 332 1095

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