Diagnoses and symptoms


Paralysis is the inability or reduced ability to voluntarily use one or more muscles, muscle groups, or limbs. Ottobock offers paralysis orthoses for various conditions.

Motor paralysis

Motor paralysis — paralysis of the voluntary muscles — is differentiated into peripheral and central paralysis depending on where the damage occurred.

In cases of peripheral paralysis, the nerve is diseased or damaged, either in its course after leaving the spinal cord (e.g., severed by an injury) or where it originates in the spinal cord (e.g., in the case of poliomyelitis). These are always cases of flaccid paralysis. The affected muscle groups or limbs exhibit no tension whatsoever.

In cases of central paralysis, the paralysis site is located higher, either in the pyramidal tracts of the spinal cord (spinal paralysis), or in the brain itself (cerebral paralysis); for example, following a stroke. Cases of central paralysis are often spastic, which means the tension of the affected muscles is elevated. Depending on the extent of paralysis, it may be referred to as monoplegia (paralysis of only one limb), paraplegia (paralysis of the upper or lower limbs), tetraplegia (paralysis of all limbs), or hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body).

Sensitive paralysis (sensory paralysis)

Sensitive paralysis (sensory paralysis) is caused by diseases of the peripheral or central nervous system. In cases of sensitive paralysis, the ability to perceive sensory stimuli such as cold, heat, pain, or touch is eliminated or reduced in certain body regions.

Other types of paralysis

In some cases, paralysis is due to an illness of the muscle itself (myogenic paralysis). Paralysis for mental reasons (psychogenic paralysis) is also possible but occurs rarely.

Back to everyday activities: three steps to an Ottobock orthosis

  1. Here you’ll find an overview of all the orthoses and supports that could potentially help you. Take the list with you to your next doctor’s appointment.
  2. Talk to your doctor about which orthotic device is best suited to your symptoms and condition. Your doctor can then write you a prescription for the appropriate orthotic device.
  3. Take your prescription to an O&P professional. They'll work with you to get the medical devices you need.

Ottobock orthoses and supports for paralysis

The products below are designed to help support and improve the mobility of individuals with certain types of motor paralysis. Whether a product is suitable for you, and you can use the product to its fullest depends on many different factors. Your physical condition, fitness, and a detailed medical examination are all factors. Your doctor or orthotist will decide which product would be the most suitable for your condition.