The Original Bending Brace is the Carolina Bending Brace designed by C. Ralph Hooper Jr. CPO | About C. Ralph Hooper, Jr., CPO
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About C. Ralph Hooper, Jr., CPO

Ralph Hooper, C.P.O. and Frederick Reed, M.D. of Charleston, South DSC_0123Carolina, collaborated on the early development of a new sidebending orthosis for nocturnal wear. This new brace was first fabricated in 1978 in Charleston for treatment of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis. Originally, the new orthosis was used to treat patients in which other types of orthotic management had failed; patients who continued to show progressive curvatures, but whose skeletal maturity obviated full-time bracewear, and patients who had refused other treatment options. In these cases, time-modified bracewear seemed preferable to complete non-compliance, for obvious reasons.

In 1984 an investigational team was formed to study lateral bending time-modified bracewear. Team members included: Frederick Reed, M.D. of Charleston, South Carolina; Ralph Hooper, Jr. of Winter Park, Florida; Max F. Riddick, M.D. of Winter Park, Florida; and Charles T. Price, M.D. of Orlando, Florida. 

Professional Accreditation

  • Certified Orthotist. American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, 1976.
  • Certified Prosthetist. American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, 1978.


  • Graduate Certificate in Prosthetics, from Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois. 1978.
  • Graduate Certificate in Orthotics, from New York University Medical School, New York, NY. 1976.
  • College of Charleston. 1971-1973.
  • The Citadel Military College. 1971-1973.
  • Gardener Webb College. 1967-1969.

Inventor and Patent Holder

  • Inventor of Orthopedic Appliance known as THE ORIGINAL BENDING BRACE patent no. 4,688,558.

Memberships and Committees

  • Member of American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association
  • Member of American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics
  • Recipient of Expression of Appreciation Award American Board for Certification
  • Past President Elect Region IV, A.O.P.A.
  • Past Vice President of Region IV, A.O.P.A.
  • Past President of South Carolina Orthotics and Prosthetics Society
  • Past Scientific Chairman for A.O.P.A. Region IV
  • Past Assembly Chairman for A.O.P.A. Region IV
  • Past Chairman ABC Board Examination for Orthotics
  • Past Examiner for ABC Orthotic Exam
  • Past Member ABC Credentials Committee
  • Past Member of the Business and Data Committee for A.O.P.A,
  • Past President of the Florida Orthotic & Prosthetic Association
  • Past President of the Florida Chapter of A.A.O.P.