WHAT ARE ORTHOPEDIC BRACES?

Orthopedic braces are special supports that allow patients to be independent, especially during specific phases of life such as the postoperative and rehabilitation periods. The primary function of orthopedic braces is to immobilize joints following trauma or limb-related issues to maintain stability.

In this article, we will examine various types of orthopedic braces and how they can be utilized to maximize the healing benefits of these specialized supports.

Why are orthopedic braces used?

Orthopedic braces are primarily used in cases of:

• Injuries or surgeries: The affected body part is immobilized to facilitate the quickest possible joint healing.

• Arthritis: When degenerative inflammation affects the patient, orthopedic braces serve as excellent allies in reducing bone inflammation.

In essence, orthopedic braces protect joints from abrupt movements and stabilize bones during inflammatory or swelling states, serving both a rehabilitative and curative role.

Depending on the type of treatment, there are various types of orthopedic braces, each with its own functions and characteristics.

Types of orthopedic braces: Which to choose?

As we’ve seen, orthopedic braces support joints when a patient experiences an injury or undergoes surgery. Firstly, the device must meet the patient’s rehabilitative needs, necessitating consultation with a doctor or orthopedic specialist.

Secondly, once the appropriate type of brace is determined for the individual case, the duration for wearing the brace should be clarified.

Orthopedic braces are mainly divided into:

• Wrist braces

• Shoulder braces

• Trunk braces

• Leg braces

• Knee braces

• Foot braces

Wrist braces:

Wrist braces are used in cases of trauma or inflammation. It is an effective medical device for alleviating pain caused by pathology, immobilizing and supporting the wrist to allow movements with ease.

Wrist braces are prescribed by doctors after surgery to ensure a quick patient recovery. The wrist support should be comfortable, functional, and fit perfectly when worn. Choosing the right size is crucial as the involved limbs must remain stable.

Various types of wrist braces are available, ranging from long immobilizers for wrist fractures to classic wrist braces. The latter is necessary for healing sprains, alleviating the annoying wrist tendonitis (or mouse tendonitis), and neuropathies, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Finger braces are also part of this family, recommended for distortions, simple or compound fractures, and inflammations.

Trunk brace:

Among trunk braces, the back brace or lumbar belt is an example, useful for those experiencing back pain and lower back discomfort.

Trunk braces are particularly suitable for the postoperative phase when constant compression of the affected area is required to prevent incorrect movements during rehabilitation. In the case of disc herniation surgery, the orthopedic brace is a valuable support during the rehabilitation phase. It is also an essential orthotic tool to stop the worsening of the spine’s curve. Trunk braces can be used for corrective purposes, such as improving posture. In cases of scoliosis, an abnormal deformation of the spine, the so-called scoliosis orthopedic brace can counteract this disorder and help maintain a healthy position. Even in cases of significant complications, such as vertebral collapse, the brace remains a fundamental ally in combating the pathology.

Leg brace:

The leg brace is designed to protect the lower limb in case of trauma or accident. In this case as well, choosing a device suitable for one’s needs is important.

Leg braces are categorized based on their function, and you can usually find:

• Foot braces

• Ankle braces

• Knee braces

• Thigh braces

It’s important to note that leg braces can be used not only due to injury but also to treat inflammation caused by tendonitis.

This variety of solutions offers patients a wide range of choices to aid in quicker healing. Finding the right support to resume walking through supports that meet various technical and functional needs is crucial for a speedy recovery. Currently, these specialized devices are used in place of traditional casts, reducing the stress on the assisted person.