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GenuTrain OA for active people “My athletic drive is still in play”

Issue 03/2019

Wilhelm Kraatz is impressively passionate. The 75-year-old, who has severe osteoarthritis of the left knee, is able to throw projectiles farther than almost anyone his age. This senior high-performance athlete knows what he’s doing – in throwing sports as well as with his knee.

The hammer, javelin and discus are at the ready. The sun is shining and the field at the TSV Bargteheide stadium, north of Hamburg, Germany, is calling: Wilhelm Kraatz, 2018 German throws pentathlon champion in the M75 age class, tall and slim, practices here with a small group of senior citizens. He dons a leather glove and reaches for his favorite piece of equipment. He makes two, three rapid spins with the hammer and then sends it flying through the air. For a successful throw, the movement of the legs while turning must be precisely choreographed. This generates high load peaks in the knee. But you can’t tell by looking at Wilhelm Kraatz. His movements are fluid. He watches the hammer appraisingly. A good distance. Then he bends down and turns a dial on his knee orthosis.

Quick self-adjustment

Recently, the senior track and field athlete has been exercising with the new GenuTrain OA. He suffers from osteoarthritis of the knee combined with axial misalignment. The orthosis takes pressure off his medial knee compartment and reduces pain. “Without orthoses, I wouldn’t even be able to continue practicing my sport”, he declares. “At least not at the top of my game. After all , my athletic drive is still in play.” Hamburg-based medical supply retailer Stolle fitted him with a custom orthosis that stabilizes him well. The light GenuTrain OA is a good supplement for Wilhelm Kraatz. He received the new orthosis for a trial wearing period and has achieved good results with it during training. “The option to adjustment it on my own is a decisive factor for me. I can quickly use the dial to increase the tension right before throwing, thereby reducing load peaks. Afterwards, if it is comfortable for me, I loosen the tension again. This also works when I’m not doing sports, even through long pants.”

Improved gait

As a young man, Wilhelm Kraatz suffered a meniscus injury. The high compressing loads experienced by the veteran decathlete, for instance during the triple jump, could also be responsible for the cartilage damage in his left knee. “An operation was not appropriate for me”, says the well-conditioned senior citizen, who regularly keeps in shape with calisthenics and movement. With GenuTrain OA, he can almost completely bend his knee. During the trial wearing period, there were benefits that went beyond just his knee: “The way I walk is more relaxed, rounder – more normal , somehow. There were times when I completely forgot about the orthosis because it feels comfortable.”

Images: Eva Häberle


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