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SofTec Coxa for use after hip arthroscopy A game-changer in the post operative setting

Issue 02/2021

One-sided strain on the hip or acute injuries can affect the entire pelvic region. The patient’s joint and mobility may be impaired long-term. For more than ten years, the hip specialist Allston J. Stubbs, MD and MBA, has been using the SofTec Coxa brace successfully in post-operative management to ensure joint preservation. 

It has been more than a decade, but Dr. Stubbs from the Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center in Winston-
Salem, North Carolina, remembers it as if it was yesterday: “We weren’t satisfied with the bracing protocol after our hip arthroscopies, especially as it relates to patient compliance. It is crucial to ensure absolutely reliable control of the joint’s movements in order to protect the surgical outcome. “That’s what we need the brace to achieve.” In 2010 a colleague showed him the SofTec Coxa brace, which was new at that time. The special hinge allows for controlling abduction and adduction, as well as flexion and extension. In contrast to many rigid designs, it combines flexible sections of knitted fabric with a stabilizing pelvic frame and joint splint. “It was love at first sight,” Dr. Stubbs admits. “And it immediately improved patient compliance. This brace was a real game-changer with regards to post-­operative rehabilitation.” 

Acute dislocation after high-impact events

Many of Dr. Stubbs’ patients are athletes performing contact and non-contact sports who carry out the same movement patterns for years on end: American football and soccer players, dancers or equestrians. Regardless of the specific sport, the constantly recurring strain has an impact on joint structures. Pulled muscles, sprains, pain radiating into the sacroiliac and pelvic areas, gait anomalies and relief postures can be a consequence. About 90 percent of his hip patients exhibit these developments. Ten percent have suffered an acute trauma, a high-impact event in the worst-case scenario. “During American football, a tackle can go wrong and rip the femoral head out of the joint socket, seriously damaging the labrum, the ring of cartilage that lines the socket” Dr. Stubbs explains.

Secure guidance of the hip joint

The orthopedic surgeon is able to help about one in three of his patients, who range in age from nine to 82, through an arthroscopic procedure. During post-operative rehabilitation, the “game-changer”, that is the SofTec Coxa, comes into play. It centers the ball head in the hip socket and controls hip mobility. “The risk of performing an incorrect movement and the need for stability are highest during the first six weeks. The brace guides and stabilizes the joint, minimizes pain and provides the patient with an improved feeling of balance. This was confirmed by a pilot study conducted at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.” His patients report that the SofTec Coxa is easy to put on and take off, and it is comfortable when worn sitting down, especially when traveling on a plane or in a car.

Postoperative protective function: the SofTec Coxa limits mobility of the hip in two planes, in abduction and adduction as well as in flexion and extension.

SofTec Coxa meeting on the interstate

This beneficial brace is part of a patient’s everyday life for at least six weeks to restore mobility – as was the case for two SofTec Coxa wearers who coincidentally met at a rest stop on the interstate in Florida,
Dr. Stubbs says. First, they couldn’t believe their eyes, then they approached each other and shared their experiences. “The likelihood of such a meeting is practically zero. The fact that they both noticed each other and recognized the other person’s SofTec Coxa is an indication of how much they identify with the product,” the arthroscopy expert explains. He is so convinced of the benefits of this brace that he recommends it to colleagues for post-operative follow-up care after total hip replacements. “The compression exerted by the brace helps swelling to subside more quickly, and its strategic movement control significantly alleviates pain and stress, even in the lower extremities. This creates a beneficial healing environment, allowing quicker mobilization.”

Joint preservation by key-hole surgery

Preserving the hip joint is the main priority of arthroscopic surgery. “I am proud to be a member of the International Society of Hip Preservation,” Dr. Stubbs says, smiling, “we do a lot of work through small holes.” Patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the hip also benefit from the technological progress of minimally invasive procedures. The SofTec Coxa is also used in these cases: the brace protects the graft after cartilage cell treatment. “We still don’t know what else the brace can do beyond this, so we’re conducting research to learn more. In all cases, it prevents excessive strain on the joint in the post-operative setting, and therefore also progression of the osteoarthritis. This offers patients a relevant benefit: a better quality of life.” 

Preserving the hip

Allston Julius Stubbs IV, MD and MBA, is an orthopedic surgeon in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is also a sports physician and member of numerous international associations, and specializes in preserving the hip joint using prevention and minimally invasive procedures. He is an active member of the International Society of Hip Preservation (ISHA), which was founded in 2008. The goal of hip preservation surgery is the prevention or the delay of endoprosthetic joint replacement.

For more information, visit www.ishasoc.net.

 

Images: Bauerfeind, Bauerfeind USA/Scott Borjeson


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