Visitors to Sci-Port Discovery Center, downtown’s center for all things science, will now be able to learn more about the devices that help people stand, walk and function. The science and technology of orthotics: braces, lifts and the like, is changing at light speed. Cumbersome and heavy metal braces have made way to composite, lightweight units and it might not be long before such devices could give the wearer something akin to ‘super’ powers!

The Shriners Hospital for Children-Shreveport has donated an exhibit showing the art, science and technology of these orthotic devices. The ‘What is an Orthotic?’ display features a series of information panels relating the definition, purpose, and types of orthotic devices. Featured are four actual orthotics created at the Shreveport Shriners Hospital, including a shoe lift, ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), back brace, and a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO).  Also included is an interactive video that chronicles the fabrication process of an orthotic device. The video shows fabrication stages such as patient casting and mold creation to refinement, plastic application, and patient fitting.

Created in close consultation with the Shreveport Shriners Hospital’s Pediatric Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (POPS) department, the new display represents not only a unique service within the hospital, but also the elements of medicine, technology, and innovation embraced within the mission of Sci-Port.

“Orthotics fabrication requires a unique combination of medical knowledge, technical skill, and creativity/problem solving in order to create a device that will serve its purpose,” said Kim Green, administrator of the Shreveport Shriners Hospital. “These STEM-related concepts certainly dovetail with the mission and educational approach of our friends at Sci-Port, and we are thrilled to partner with them to present this interactive and educational look into the world of orthotics. We look forward to working with Sci-Port to engage with visitors and help share how this specialized part of our facility is making a difference in the lives of kids in Shreveport and throughout the region.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children®

Shriners Children’s is changing lives every day by providing innovative pediatric specialty care, conducting research to improve the quality of lives, and of care, and offering outstanding educational programs for medical professionals. We offer patient-centered care in several areas, including burns, craniofacial conditions, orthopedics, spine care and sports medicine. Children up to age 18 are eligible for care, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Founded in 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Shreveport was the first hospital established in the Shriners Hospitals for Children system.  Serving a six-state area in the southern United States and the Republic of Panama, the 45-bed orthopaedic and cleft lip/palate facility has provided specialized care to a global population of over 110,000 children.