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Independence with the GenuTrain OA “I can vividly picture the ideal patient in front of me”

Issue 03/2019

Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Sell , Medical Director of the Schwarzwald Joint Center at the Neuenbürg Hospital , Germany, was a co-developer and supervisor of wearing tests for the new knee orthosis. He believes its high level of compliance is the result of patient independence.

Bauerfeind life: What struck you during the wearing tests for GenuTrain OA?

Prof. Sell: These tests are actually always conducted using the same pattern. They make a plan, hand out the product , explain its function and how long to wear it , and then collect the product again at the end. But in this case, the test subjects wanted to keep it.

Why?

Prof. Sell: GenuTrain OA is the product they have been waiting for. I can vividly picture the ideal patient in front of me: an active person with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee and mild to moderate misalignment , in the age range of thirty to sixty. They want to continue playing sports, maintain an active lifestyle. And I actually tested this: they don’t just put the GenuTrain OA on to play tennis; they really can play tennis with it.

GenuTrain OA is supposed to provide relief through adjustments made by the wearers themselves, increasing or reducing tension as needed.

Prof. Sell: This independence is a very crucial element for compliance. Now the patient has control over when and how much relief is applied. After the orthosis has been explained, patients don’t need anyone else’s help. However, it’s important to tell patients not to tighten the support too much. Expectations can be very high.

The dial of the Boa Fit System allows patients to independently adjust the relief as required.

The orthosis can be used to provide relief, influence proprioception and change the patient’s gait. What is the most important function for you?

Prof. Sell: In general I believe that mechanical function is not the be-all and end-all , contrary to what you might expect from its prominent relief straps. Of course, the main objective is to achieve stability and pain reduction in the knee. But we also know, for example, that the proprioception stimulated by the knitted fabric also influences the gait , in addition to generating muscle stability. And gait in turn influences the upper body, which plays an important role in proper axial leg alignment. We assume that there is an interplay between these factors. We are planning to investigate whether it is possible to quantify their relative percentages through my Professorship for Sports Orthopedics at the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).

If we focus solely on relief, what is it able to do?

Prof. Sell: The GenuTrain OA provides real stability for the knee. Its straps block specific types of stress. However, for correction of axial misalignment , it has its known limitations. But I wouldn’t try to push a twenty-degree Valgus deformity into line with this orthosis. Hard frame orthoses such as the SecuTec OA are a more suitable product for such cases. Of course, there are always borderline cases. About ten degrees of correction is a realistic figure.
I view the GenuTrain OA as a benevolent , if also admonitory, orthosis that gives a push in the right direction.

What feedback did the test subjects give you about its wearing comfort?

Prof. Sell: They were all very pleased with the fit of the orthosis. The fit , the knitted fabric and the tensioning strap all work to keep the orthosis in exactly the right position. The handling of the dial was also highly praised. It can be accessed very intuitively. This makes it possible to adjust the right level of tension even through suit pants or jeans. And patients don’t have to go to the restroom to do so. GenuTrain OA is an orthosis for active patients that provides relief and is easy to wear.

Images: Udo Schönewald (2), Bauerfeind


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