Outside the locker room, and away from the sidelines, a growing number of trainers in today’s evolving orthopedic market are using Townsend/Thuanse orthopedic solutions in physician offices, physical therapy clinics, or durable medical equipment businesses.
Trainers are also enrolling in graduate schools to be trained to work as a certified orthotist (CO), or certified orthotist prosthetist (CPO). There are 13 of these specialty graduate programs that provide educational courses about orthopedic bracing and prosthetic technology for amputees.
While many trainers are familiar with Townsend’s ligament knee braces for athletes, ATCs who work in orthopedic clinics are introduced to Thuasne rehab products like walking boots, post-operative braces, and premium knitted soft goods, as well as offloading braces for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Thuasne USA offers the most comprehensive range of OA braces in the industry.
“Trainers working with athletes appreciate the exceptional fit, function and suspension of our knee braces,” said Jon Lamas, the director of Thuasne USA’s custom knee bracing fabrication. “We guarantee the fit quality, and we also offer a no migration guarantee.”
Lamas started as a fabrication technician at Townsend more than 23 years ago, and can rattle off the names of premier collegiate and professional athletes who have worn Townsend braces.
“I remember the year three Red Wings were wearing Townsend braces when they won the Stanley Cup. And when John Elway won the Super Bowl wearing a Townsend. He wore our brace for every game throughout his career,” said Lamas. “The NFL’s number one draft pick this year, and in 2012, wore a Townsend brace their senior season. Our crew gets a lot of personal satisfaction when we play a small role in an athlete’s success.”
Outside of the world of high school, college and professional sports, trainers who work in physician clinics or in the O&P field get to treat a multi-generation patient population with diverse functional and mobility limitations. In these settings, ATCs are expected to know about L-codes and reimbursements, insurance contracts and inventory management systems.
“Working as an ATC for team sports is a tough gig, especially if you are trying to have a family life,” said Rick Riley, Townsend’s CEO. “I’ve talked with dozens of women who started their career as an ATC and in recent years entered the O&P profession because of the lifestyle and economic advantages. The entry level salary is typically higher for a certified orthotist than an ATC, and for trainers who become a certified prosthetist, credentialed to treat amputees, the annual pay can be $100,000 or more,” said Riley.
“ATCs are very knowledgeable and passionate professionals. We are glad to see they are looking for career opportunities in other medical settings,” said Riley. “Townsend/Thuasne USA is the only major orthopedic brace manufacturer that is still making the majority of its braces in the United States. We welcome the opportunity to assist trainers who are treating athletes and other patients who can benefit from one of our USA made products,” said Riley.