Braces (orthoses) are often confused with splints, which are casts or rigid support materials used to reduce fractures/dislocations. Splints mainly serve a supportive purpose whereas braces have a more functional purpose and are not only used for fractures.
Braces may provide protection/support, stability, correction of deformity, increased mobility and/or movement restriction, increased function, and decreased pain. Braces are either prefabricated or custom made. They are most commonly used for nerve entrapment syndromes, spine fractures, low back pain, spasticity, sprains, arthritis, and foot drop. Canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices may be required for improved mobility, function, and/or safety.