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SecuTec OA for osteoarthritis of the knee A great range of options for a joint decision

Issue 02/2019

Whether it be dike construction or medicine: the Dutch appreciate technology that is associated with quality of life. At a location that was once on the bottom of the sea, an orthopedic specialist treats his patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee with the SecuTec OA that provides relief on both sides.

SecuTec OA entlastet lateral oder medial durch Varus-/Valguseinstellung in einem Produkt.
The SecuTec OA provides lateral or medial relief, combining optional varus/valgus adjustment in one product.

From his viewpoint , Cornelis Lely looks out to what used to be a source of danger: the sea. A pillar was installed in Lelystad, to the east of Amsterdam, in honor of the Dutch hydraulic engineer after whom the city was named. His true memorial , however, is located far out by the North Sea: the gigantic Afsluitdijk. It took this fortress of a dike to finally reliably protect human beings in the northwest of the country against the constant stream of floods. It also allowed for the ground on which its builder keeps watch today to be established. Only 300 meters inland from the pillar, Dr. Jasper Zwiers is also gazing at an item of protective technology. The knee orthosis SecuTec OA is resting on the orthopedic surgeon’s desk in the Orthoparc Flevoland in Lelystad.

An alternative to surgery

About one third of Dr. Zwiers’ patients are suffering from knee problems, many of them from osteoarthritis in varying degrees. Just like the water, the cartilage disease that is caused by wear cannot be stopped for good, but it can be contained: in the case of moderate to severe lateral or medial osteoarthritis of the knee, the SecuTec OA can reduce pain and improve mobility, thanks to its relieving effect. “With the new orthosis, I’m able to make my patients an offer that is hard to refuse,” Dr. Zwiers points out with a wink. “Osteotomy or a joint replacement are always a consideration, of course, for severe misalignments or axial deviations,” the young physician admits. “The SecuTec OA can be an alternative, though. And a better one than other orthoses.”

Cornelis Lely, hydraulic engineer, eponym of Lelystad, location of Orthoparc Flevoland.

Direct relief

While many other orthoses allow for relief in only one direction, the SecuTec OA is able to cater for both varus and valgus corrections. “For me, the most important feature of the orthosis is the option to apply relieving force on both sides, depending on the knee compartment that is affected,” Dr. Zwiers highlights. “Thanks to the special setting options, the forces take effect exactly where they are needed – right on the joint.” These settings open up a decisive range of options for the physician. Many of his patients are unsure whether to rely on a conservative or a surgical approach, and they need good reasons. “The SecuTec OA can help with the decision process,” he explains. “For a mild misalignment of three or four degrees, for example, I can easily apply an overcorrection in the opposite direction by the same degree. Patients can often tolerate this range well enough to be happy with the orthosis. This treatment may be supplemented with physiotherapy and medication. And in this case, patients often don’t want to think about surgery any longer.” The SecuTec OA can help to build bridges.

For Dr. Jasper Zwiers, the SecuTec OA is an important aid to find a solution in agreement with the patient for their knee problems.

Engaging patients in the
decision-making process

Convincing properties are necessary to turn a bridge into a viable path. “The SecuTec OA is unobtrusive. It is lightweight , slim and can be individually adjusted,”
Dr. Zwiers describes the product. “The system does not slip, and the condylar pads target the right place. The option to increase its surface with the insertable wedges is important to achieve a sufficiently large contact area,” explains the physician. Is it a coincidence or a necessity that he opts for surgery in just 10 to 15 percent of cases, despite the fact that he is an orthopedic surgeon? It is a decision that is usually made together with the patients. “It may take time, but I think it’s important that everybody involved agrees,” the orthopedic specialist emphasizes. “It makes both parties happier.” Providing immediately noticeable relief to the knee, the SecuTec OA offers compelling arguments for a non-surgical treatment approach to osteoarthritis of the knee. Many patients of all ages have been able to get an impression of the orthosis’ quick donning process and trouble-free wearing properties. None of them has decided to stop the treatment , the physician says. Not even the young women with cartilage damage to whom Dr. Zwiers prescribed the SecuTec OA as a protective aid during exercise. The product features good options for individual adjustments to difficult anatomic conditions of the leg. The SecuTec OA has also been used post-operatively, to support the healing process after a tibia fracture.

“For me, the most important feature of the orthosis is
the option to apply relieving force on both sides, depending on the knee compartment that is affected”

Dr. Jasper Zwiers

Stopping osteoarthritis of the knee?

The “race” against the progression of osteoarthritis, however, is hard to win with both surgical and conservative treatments. “Getting the inflammatory processes under control appears to be the most promising short-term objective, based on the current status of research,” says the Dutch physician. And what about now? “For now we’ve got a good orthosis.”

Images: Jasper Pluim/City Marketing Lelystad, Stefan Durstewitz, Bauerfeind


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