Patients Are Our First Priority

We work with doctors and therapists to dispense a prescribed prosthetic or orthotic device.

Our goal is to provide a positive patient experience during the fitting process and subsequent follow-up visits.

Every patient deserves a team of providers that will help them move forward through therapy and re-gaining daily activities. It is rewarding for us to hear updates from our patients’ and their doctors who report progress and a positive patient experience.

Nearly 40 years of leadership, and our unique relationship with the largest rehabilitation hospital on the West Coast, means we have the expertise, experience, and execution necessary to engineer the best possible device for your patients.

The case studies below are from real patients treated at one of our 3 locations.

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.

Our 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 can look up and see the world around her and, most importantly, make eye contact!

My husband is an amputee and we saw George for a fitting for my husband’s prosthesis. George is extremely patient while being very knowledgeable. He listens well to my husband’s preferences and needs. The prosthesis has allowed my husband to be mobile and manage his life needs such as dialysis treatments, doctors‚ appointments, etc. Both of us are extremely grateful for George and the Collier team!

Linda Olivenbaum, Oakland Patient

A Double Upright AFO gets patient back on his feet!

Improving Gait Stability

Mr. Harrell, a 50-year-old diabetic, presented with an unstable gait and had been previously diagnosed with left foot drop secondary to a stroke and leaving him with left side paralysis. Mr. Harrell would use his arms for balance while ambulating, and had experienced a number of falls.

To resolve his unstable gait, we fabricated a left double upright Ankle Foot Orthosis with extra depth shoes and custom accommodative inserts for Mr. Harrell. The AFO is used to control the instability in his lower limb by maintaining proper alignment and controlling motion and drop foot.

The Double Upright AFO will be attached to the diabetic shoe which allows for edema and protects the diabetic foot from any shear forces. His diabetic neuropathic condition requires extra depth shoes and custom diabetic inserts to accommodate his misshapen feet. The AFO will also protect his de-sensitized feet from repetitive stress and irritation – something his current shoes were not providing.

Mr. Harrell has been wearing the Double Upright AFO for a few weeks now and it has boosted his confidence. He has been very satisfied with the progress he has made toward resuming his normal walking routine.

Mr. Harrell had a few words to describe his patient experience at Collier:

“I had a stroke and lost a lot of my left side. I was treated with professionalism and the practitioner was very kind. I can now walk a lot better, love my new brace and shoes!”

— AFO Patient Troy Harrell

“George is honest, very knowledgeable and passionate of his work. I felt at ease and comfortable enough to try to push myself to do different things.”

John Bailey, Sacramento, CA

Q&A with Ian McLaughlin: Post-Stroke Recovery with an AFO

Ian’s latest achievement: The Rise Paralysis Recovery 5k Wheel & Walk

What is most important to you about your experience with Collier?

As a person recovering from multiple serious strokes and complete hemiplegia, I needed to assemble a team of dedicated professionals I can rely on in my recovery effort for their support and expertise. The practitioners at Collier have been an invaluable part of my recovery team. The single most important thing to me is their dependability. I use an AFO to walk and as I recover motor functions over time my orthotic needs constantly are changing. I have been able to work with the Collier team on a regular basis to make the adjustments to my AFO as my needs have changed.

When you think back to your first evaluation with Collier, how did you feel when that was complete?

My initial evaluation with Collier occurred in November 2016 when I was in an acute inpatient rehab facility – only two months post-strokes. I was still cognitively very impaired and not walking very much and I had no idea what my orthotic needs were or what they would ultimately be. Collier orthotist, Dennis “DJ” Johnston, BOCO, CPA, fit me for my AFO (ankle foot orthosis) at that time. I have used the same AFO for three years now with numerous modifications as I become more ambulatory. In 2018, I wore that same AFO when I walked a 5K Turkey Trot in my local community.

If there were things that concern you about the future of your care, what would they be?

My concerns have nothing to do with Collier and their services. I am working very hard to control my post-stroke spasticity that causes me to need to wear an AFO and I hope to not need one someday. My concern is that I will never regain the ability to walk without an assistive device. I know that as I go through the process I will be able to work with the Collier team to fit me with progressively less cumbersome braces as my skills and abilities develop further.

Colored box with picture of practitioner Dennis on the left and text on the right

A Board Certified Orthotist, Dennis works with orthotic patients of all ages.

“Dennis was patient and listened to my needs and concerns. Dennis made me feel that there were more possibilities in my treatment than I had received from other facilities. Dennis never rushes me in and out, and always makes sure I am satisfied when I leave. I have been seeing Dennis for many years now. I am a post-polio patient, and 8 years ago I had corrective surgeries on both feet. I was in pain and needed new braces so I could continue to walk. He helped me through this difficult time.”

John McKee, Sacramento, CA, 2/18/17

Q&A with Michael Spoto

Michael came to Collier Orthotics in Sacramento because he was having quite a bit of knee pain from arthritis and a torn meniscus, and wasn’t quite ready for knee surgery. Michael speaks about his care journey, and how an unloader knee brace allows him to get back to his daily activities with a lot less pain.

Video Text: My name is Michael and I am 42 and have severe arthritis. I had meniscus surgery, got 20-30% of my meniscus taken out and my cartilage got ground down. Been in pain, I can barely walk, and stairs are brutal. I’m young and I want to be active and I’ve been searching for solutions. Right on let’s do this – I’ve had it for three months now and doing fantastic! I would say my pain level has gone from eight to nine to probably a three or four. I’ve increased activities a little bit playing a little golf with it and any time my knee flares up I throw it on and you know calms it down a little bit. Still don’t have to do surgery – eventually but I think I’ve found a solution to prolong it a little bit and it’s all to Collier so thanks a lot guys!

Q&A with James Muelleners

“Hi, my name is Jim and I am here at Collier working with Nick. This brace has changed how I live! I was struggling with pain. I play a lot of softball. I am six and a half feet tall, 290 lbs, and when I first came in here, they weren’t sure if they could do anything for me but Nick took me under his wing, found the right brace and fought hard (with insurance) to make sure I received the right brace. Now I am back for my second adjustment and I can’t wait for the next 10 years of smacking it out of the ballpark.”

Q: What was most important to you about your experience?

A: The ability to work with my schedule and accommodate me in Sacramento instead of the bay area in a timely manner, with quality of care and they wanted to help me.

Q: How did you feel after the first evaluation was complete?

A: Very complete! Nick did an amazing job and was very thorough and willing to fight for the brace I needed.

Q: What was most important to you during your time in our care?

A: The quality of knowledge and the ability to relate.

Q: Why did you choose our company?

A: Quality, speed, knowledge and family

Thank you James, we are glad we could help you get back to your daily activities….pain free!

“I wanted a knee brace that would allow me to snowski the moguls with little or no pain.  I felt positive meeting Ray, he was very professional and personable. He measured and traced my thigh, knee and leg. He showed me a model of the brace that would be made for me. I was concerned about the brace hitting the ski boot – Ray had the brace made shorter so that would not occur. If the brace was uncomfortable, would I be able to have it re-fitted? Ray assured me I could have it adjusted until I was happy with the fit.”

Larae Brickeen, Sacramento, CA, 3/27/17
George Villaurrel with upper extremity patient Carol
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Patient Care is our First Priority!