Feel the benefits

Orthopedic technology for osteoarthritis of the hip

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 03.07.2024

In short When treating patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip, Falko Glöckner, expert orthotist at rmcStolze GmbH, appreciates that the CoxaTrain hip brace is easy to adapt to patients, and they often feel straight away how much movement and participation in everyday life is possible again. He believes that its low weight and the easy donning of the product are key for exceptional patient compliance. “Of course, that’s essential for treatment,” reports Silke Mizera-Arnold, Branch Manager and Rehabilitation Coach at rmcStolze medical supply retailer, pointing out how exercise contributes to joint preservation and quality of life.

During conservative hip treatment, relieving braces can mobilize patients who suffer from pain. Silke Mizera-Arnold and Falko Glöckner from German rmcStolze medical supply retailer share their experiences with the innovative CoxaTrain for treating osteoarthritis of the hip.

Branch Manager and Rehabilitation Trainer Silke Mizera-Arnold and Expert Orthotist Falko Glöckner from rmcStolze medical supply retailer.

“When patients try on the CoxaTrain, I always ask them to sit in a low chair so they can see that this brace allows them to get up easily and be active. They will then also notice that this brace works for the car, too, which is an important aspect for many. That’s where you sit in a low position with the hip being bent a lot. That’s when they feel the benefits this can offer them,” explains Falko Glöckner. The expert orthotist is in charge of the personal fitting of braces at rmcStolze GmbH. In addition to their headquarters in Naumburg, the company has around 130 employees and ten branches in the wider surroundings, including Weißenfels, Zeitz, Halle, Aschersleben, Borna and Hartha. Falko Glöckner treats patients who from osteoarthritis of the hip using the CoxaTrain, for example, which provides the hip joint with guiding stabilization during walking and relieves the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. “The CoxaTrain is a relatively lightweight brace that’s not as rigid and bulky as other models, which are often compared to a basket being strapped around the patient, meaning they’re not accepted as happily as the CoxaTrain,” explains Falko Glöckner. Silke Mizera-Arnold, Branch Manager and rehabilitation trainer at rmcStolze adds: “It’s easy for patients to move when they wear this brace. This increases compliance. Of course, that’s essential for treatment.”

Alleviating pain

Most patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip who visit rmcStolze are, on average, 60 years old, some are older. Many of them had been through a lot of pain until they were diagnosed and treated, but want to delay surgery for as long as possible. “As part of treatment, we can instruct patients how to strengthen their muscles that have become tense and sometimes weak. Most of the time, it’s not necessary to motivate our patients to get moving. It’s actually their wish to be physically active. Once pain has been alleviated, they can quickly reclaim this element of their quality of life,” reports Silke Mizera-Arnold. Falko Glöckner knows the following from his own experience: “A lot of patients notice initial relief as soon as they try on the brace. But until pain reduction has reached the desired level, they have to give the whole system a little bit of time to become effective. The muscles have to respond, postures to help relieve pain must be abandoned. We have noted a phase of up to four weeks until patients experience the full benefits of their product. We point that out to them in advance in our consultations.” The expert orthotist can also imagine using the CoxaTrain in a post-operative setting: “It often takes time until the muscles have regained sufficient strength. A stabilizing brace can help in these cases, providing patients with confidence if they’re a little worried about subjecting themselves to strain.”

The hinge can be anatomically shaped by hand.

Patient-friendly treatment

Falko Glöckner usually meets patients in their home to fit the hip brace. A lot of the time, their pain has intensified, leading to restricted mobility. “It’s convenient that we can take the measurements separately for the pelvic and thigh supports during the fitting process. I hold the hinge on the patient’s hip and check how it can be fitted anatomically and where the thigh support has to go. The patient can sit down again, and I can put everything together easily,” Falko Glöckner explains. Assembly requires no tools, and the hinge can be shaped by hand as needed using the edge of a table. In his opinion, the brace’s low weight and convenient Velcro fasteners are deciding factors for patients barely having any issues when donning the product. “The fact that the CoxaTrain is so flat that it can be worn inconspicuously under pants is a plus for many,” Falko Glöckner notes.

“A lot of patients who suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip notice initial relief as soon as they try on the brace.”

Falko Glöckner, expert orthotist

During the fitting process, he discusses with his patients how tight the pelvic and thigh supports should be. He also explains the function of integrated pads, which exert a massage effect during movement to relax the hip muscles: the dorsal pads target the sacroiliac joints. The Gluteal Pad massages trigger points on the gluteal muscles. The Trochanter Pad moves during walking, thus targeting the soft tissue above the greater trochanter. He also points out that the Trochanter Pad can be doubled up. “I always place my hand underneath and ask if patients would like a little more pressure in this area,” the expert elaborates. Afterwards, Falko Glöckner often notices how happy patients are with their freedom of movement once they have the brace on.

The individual components of the CoxaTrain – the pelvic and thigh supports as well as hinge – are assembled at the end.

“A lot of customers report that they can participate more actively in life again, climb on a bike or, as I already mentioned, get out of a car more easily.” The positive feedback and excellent compliance has also resulted in an increase in the prescription of the brace. Silke Mizera-Arnold confirms: “Of course, we’re always discussing prescribing medical aids with healthcare professionals. And we’re also always expanding education for patients – whether during rehabilitation exercises or on patient days, for example. More and more people are affected by osteoarthritis and are committed to do their bit in order to stay active for as long as possible.”

Images: Andreas Wetzel

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