Understanding Orthopedic Impairments

According to CDC, 26% (1 in 4) of adults in the United States of America, have some type of disability. Physical impairment is the most common disability in the US. 1 in 7 adults, that is to say, 13.7% have difficulties getting around, walking, climbing stairs, and doing their activities of daily living.

Assistive Devices for Orthopedic Disability

What Causes Orthopedic Impairment?

The causes are of a wide range, which includes and are not limited to:

  • Traumatic injury
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Workplace injury
  • Animal/pet attacks
  • Sports Injury
  • Injury during activities of daily living
  • Injury due to overuse and/or repetitive motion
  • Congenital conditions, etc.

How To Support?

Unfortunately, some people sustain permanent disability, however, there are some things they can do to enable themselves and get support from an orthopedic impairment standpoint, at least to a certain degree.

Learn how to enable yourself from permanent disabilities:

Family Support

It can be challenging to take care of and support an orthopedic impairment family member. But, these tips can help:

  • Gather information related to their condition
  • Join an online or local support group
  • Take note of how others treat them
  • Look for any sign of abuse
  • Check if they are emotionally stable
  • Encourage them to take part in recreational activities
  • If they are interested in sports, encourage them to take part in them.
  • Make your home clutter free and spacious for them to move easily and comfortably
  • Have residences on lower floors for easy accessibility
Physician Support

Getting regular checkups and keeping things on track is very important. Based on the condition, the physician may recommend rehabilitation or physical/occupational therapy if required. Following their care instructions and being consistent can reduce discomfort caused by impairment.

Doing this under supervision can reduce stiffness and increase the flexibility of the extremity or joint. Also, consult with your orthopedic physician and discuss how to avoid or minimize overusing or overcompensating the contralateral (opposite side) extremity.

Support Devices and Implants

Anyone with a disability can struggle with transportation to school, work, etc., doing normal day-to-day activities, or even taking care of themselves. Some may opt for surgery where surgical implants can reduce their discomfort and give them the ability to use the extremity to a certain degree. Some may opt for assistive devices, which can also be of great help and they are as follows:

  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Crutches
  • Wheelchairs
  • Specialized exercise equipment
  • Specialized workstations, chairs, desks, footwear, pens, utensils, etc
  • Orthopedic implants (plates, screws, artificial tendons or cartilage or joints, prosthesis, etc)
Modifying Activities Of Daily Living

Being orthopedically impaired does not always mean being completely disabled, it is just doing things differently compared to others. Here are some tips for you to do things with ease:

  • Keeping the most required things like a pill box, mobile, water bottle, etc., near and well-organized
  • Smart lighting and heating controls, operated with the help of mobile or remote or even smart voice assistance like Alexa can be helpful
  • Shower seats or assistive toilet seats
  • Anti-slip rugs or mats
  • Easy-to-wear clothing
  • Caretaker, etc.
  • Having a modified car with a ramp
Government Laws And Support Acts

The U.S. government has many acts and laws to help people with disability and by knowing them, you can protect your rights and get support. Check out these important links to the websites to know more:

Americans with Disabilities Act | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

About IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Disability Discrimination (ed.gov)


Orthopedic impairment can either be congenital or acquired. To identify it early, look for signs like poor motor coordination, involuntary jerky movements, muscle pain, difficulty moving, delayed growth, loss of control of bowel or bladder, etc.

This will help you understand that something is wrong and you might be able to avoid further damage with early diagnosis. If you have any questions regarding orthopedic impairment, consult one of our orthopedic specialists to learn more.

Reach Out Today

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides the most effective, modern, and innovative techniques in both Orthopedic Surgery and Pain Management using proven methodologies in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of all conditions affecting the spineupper extremities, and lower extremities. We specialize in hand and wrist surgery, joint replacements, sports medicinetrauma carepediatric orthopedicspain managementwound careregenerative medicinephysical therapyimaging services, and EMG testing.