Modified SecuTec Genu knee orthosis “Secure fit , great design”
Two experts, one orthosis: Dr. Hendrik Baum, Deputy Senior Physician at the Clinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at Altenburger Land Hospital , and Stephan Pohle, expert orthotist at Sanitätshaus Altenburg GmbH, talk about the new SecuTec Genu, which they both helped further develop.
Bauerfeind life: Who do you supply the new SecuTec Genu to?
Dr. Baum: Athletes and non-athletes, young patients and old patients. The orthosis, which has been developed further, can be used in a broad and varied way to treat most knee injuries. For example, it can be employed for the conservative treatment of collateral ligament injuries as well as after a meniscus refixation or a complex surgical reconstruction of the knee joint. In the case of athletes especially, orthoses need to display a high level of stability and functionality. A good example here involves skiers who have suffered injuries such as collateral ligament or cruciate ligament tears. However, SecuTec Genu can also be used proactively to prevent relapses or counteract existing instabilities.
Does this also apply to hobby skiers?
Dr. Baum: The orthosis can be used to treat everyone from competitive athletes to “normal” patients. If a patient asks me about their ability to resume athletic activity after a recently treated knee injury, especially one associated with skiing, I will recommend that they participate in sports only under certain circumstances – and then with a fitted orthosis. SecuTec Genu has in fact demonstrated its ability to withstand stress and protect sensitive areas in the case of strain brought about by athletic activity especially. Both “normal” patients and athletes benefit here if one uses this parameter as a standard for product development and then defines a stabilization target.
Mr. Pohle, you yourself have experience using the knee orthosis as a patient following an accident. What do you as a technician have to say about the new properties of the orthosis?
Stephan Pohle: From a technical point of view, I very much like the hinge adjustment feature, which is now simple and practical and includes an easily readable scale. I can do the adjustments without having to use a tool or exert myself too much, which makes it a lot easier to put the orthosis on the patient. That makes for smoother patient consultations and therefore allows me to spend more time explaining details. I also think the new height-adjustable calf strap is very good. It shows patients that although the product is pre-fabricated, I can nevertheless individually adjust it to their anatomy. This type of fast and easy adjustment is incredibly valuable to patients who are still very much occupied by their knee injury. In addition, calf circumference can change quickly throughout the course of rehabilitation, which means slips have to be avoided at all costs.
Other alterations are also made to ensure secure positioning of the orthosis…
Stephan Pohle: … of course – a proper fit is extremely important. The orthosis should never be allowed to exert pressure in the wrong place. The additional thigh strap plays a key role here, as it allows for an extra fastening. The orthosis fits tightly on the knee and doesn’t slide back. This makes for a very convincing feeling of security and stability – and patients notice this as soon as they put on the orthosis.
Dr. Baum: The additional thigh strap expands the contact surface to the thigh even further and thus makes the orthosis even more stable. The fit is also tighter. This keeps the orthosis from sliding, which would make it less effective.
How have patients responded to the flatter and more modern design?
Dr. Baum: It’s truly a great development! We in the medical field are always looking to make things like implants and medical aids smaller, lighter, and more inconspicuousness, but also more effective at the same time. A particularly flat orthosis is therefore a logical step here. Such a design increases the level of wearing comfort and patients also feel less restricted. In addition, this design results in less contact with or injuries to the opposite side in the case of cyclists and hockey players, or patients with large thigh circumferences. The initial experience that’s been gained with athletes who underwent cruciate ligament surgery and then wore SecuTec Genu has confirmed that the patients are especially pleased by the lightness and flat design of the new orthosis.
Stephan Pohle: The distinctive color of the orthosis also stands out , of course. It clearly sets the new orthosis apart from a traditional medical aid. I’m sure that more than a few young patients opt for this orthosis because of its vibrant color.
A vibrant color as a compliance factor?
Stephan Pohle: Why not? I think it gets young people to identify more with the product; they can tell people: ”Hey, check out this cool thing I’ve got.” The orthosis therefore becomes something one would rather show off than hide – some patients might even decide to wear shorts with it. In this sense, it becomes something of a lifestyle product for people with injuries, although those who use it also trust it completely to do what it’s supposed to. Ultimately, all of these aspects make treatments more effective.
Images: Frank Steinhorst, Bauerfeind