Gonarthrosis therapy Conservative risk management
“Looking back,” says the grand master of conservative gonarthrosis treatment , “I was lucky that GenuTrain already existed when I needed it.” It was the right product at the right time for the German Professor Dr. med. Heinrich Hess.
Hess, who is now over 80, used the active support to get back on his feet after suffering a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament with cartilage damage in 1985. What he couldn’t know at the time, however, was that GenuTrain, and later GenuTrain A3, stabilized his knee in a manner that very likely minimized the risk of osteoarthritis later on. In 2014, sports scientists at the University of Freiburg were able to demonstrate that the support relieves strain on the knee joint and has a positive effect on a patient’s gait (see box).
Proprioceptive stimulation for gonarthrosis prevention
Hess’ was the typical case of a “long-term GenuTrain test subject” – if not for the fact that the test subject was also the inventor of the support. Prof. Dr. med. Heinrich Hess, who served for many years as the physician for the German national soccer team, originally wanted to use the support to help injured athletes in particular. “To be honest , gonarthrosis wasn’t the focus back then,” he explains. “However, we did know that the area around the knee represented the key to effective conservative treatment measures for stabilizing the joint. These days, early-stage muscular stabilization is now the norm for the prevention of gonarthrosis.” There’s another important aspect , namely that the intermittent compression of the knitted fabric and the viscoelastic pads also stimulates the metabolism for the cartilage during movement. This is essential because it occurs through the tissue surrounding the knee.
“These days, early-stage muscular stabilization is now the norm for the prevention of gonarthrosis.”Prof. Dr. med. Heinrich Hess
Relief of symptoms in advanced cases of gonarthrosis
Prof. Hess, who currently serves as an advisor to the Deutsche Arthrosehilfe (German Osteoarthritis Association), is looking ahead to a new orthosis – SecuTec OA – that provides relief to patients suffering from advanced lateral or medial osteoarthritis of the knee. “Obviously, we weren’t able to achieve the axial correction necessary for this with the GenuTrain supports, which were not designed for that ,” Prof. Hess explains. “Nevertheless, when I look to the future, I can say that the relieving effect of SecuTec OA in the case of advanced gonarthrosis will play a role similar in its importance to that played by the proprioceptive effectiveness displayed by the supports in the early stages of gonarthrosis.”
GenuTrain for osteoarthritis: Study and certificate
The GenuTrain active support has a positive effect on the gait of those who wear it , according to a study conducted by Prof. Dr. Albert Gollhofer et al. Among other things, the study showed that the use of the support led to a decrease in the knee adduction angle during walking in patients with medial gonarthrosis. Such patients, who account for around 85 percent of all cases of gonarthrosis, often have a pronounced varus alignment. These patients benefit from the support’s proven biomechanical effect , which reduces the non-physiological strain caused by the misalignment in the joint. The scientists at the University of Freiburg attribute the positive results mainly to GenuTrain’s proprioceptive effect (see Bauerfeind life 2014/1). After undergoing a special testing procedure, GenuTrain was awarded the Ease of Use label from the Arthritis Foundation in the United States (www.arthritis.org). This label is presented to osteoarthritis relief products that are both effective and easy to use, and thus improve the quality of life of those who use them.
It was more than 40 years ago that Prof. Dr. med. Heinrich Hess used GenuTrain to stabilize his knee following an injury – and in this manner also prevent the development of gonarthrosis.
- The pioneer of conservative gonarthrosis treatments – and the inventor of GenuTrain – originally wanted to use the support to help injured athletes.
- These days, early-stage muscular stabilization is now the norm for the prevention of gonarthrosis.
- The new SecuTec OA can play a role in advanced gonarthrosis that is just as important as the role played by the proprioceptive effect of GenuTrain A3 in the slight case of gonarthrosis.
Prof. Dr. med.
is a former physician of the German national football team and Deputy Chairman of the “Prof. Dr. med. Heinrich Hess Foundation,” which he founded. Up until his retirement, he served as the Director of the Orthopedic Clinic in Saarlouis.
(As of: May 2018; Image: Bauerfeind)