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Spinova Osteo for a high-risk patient with muscular insufficiency The will to maintain good posture

Issue 03/2020

Her excess pounds are gone, but her unsteady gait remains. Edeltraut Pfützner’s expectations are high during her appointment at the medical supply retailer. Will a straightening orthosis give her enough stability for her new freedom? She wants definitely to give it a try.

Die Vorteile der individuellen Anpassung können Orthesen wie Spinova Osteo nur dann ausspielen, wenn sie richtig angelegt sind. Stefan Lenk nutzt einen Spiegel, um ­Edeltraut Pfützner damit vertraut zu machen.
The advantages of adapting an orthosis like the Spinova Osteo to an individual patient can only come into effect when it is put on correctly. Stefan Lenk uses a mirror so Edeltraut Pfützner can familiarize herself with it.

The scales once showed more than 140 kg!” Edeltraut Pfützner could barely believe it. The 81-year-old is sitting on a narrow chair in the reception area of Lenk orthopedics supplier in Meissen, Germany, shaking her head. “It couldn’t go on like that.” Seven helpers were required to carry her out of her apartment for an examination. “I was no longer able to securely put my feet on the steps,” she remembers. A nutritionist recommended a low-carb diet to her. It worked – also thanks to her unyielding spirit. Today, 18 months later, weighing 70 kg less, her world looks completely different. She is out and about again and goes on excursions in Meissen and to nearby Moritzburg Castle with her husband and her walker. A tradition she has grown fond of is sending postcards from places she can visit again, to Orthopädiehaus Lenk as well, which she knows as a patient suffering from lymphatic problems. “But now that the pounds have dropped, my bad posture becomes visible,” she complains. “And I can feel my lack of strength. That means I still feel quite unsteady.”

Preventing falls early

Edeltraut Pfützner is highly motivated and well informed. Her knowledge of the correlations between bad posture, weak muscles and a risk of falling makes it easy for physicians and therapists to take action for treatment and prevention. During her regular lymphatic treatments with compression stockings, she found an attentive and observant advisor: Ulrike Lenk from the long-established medical supply retailer based in Meissen, a town renowned for its exquisite porcelain. She recommended the use of the Spinova Osteo spinal orthosis to her patient, suffering from significant muscular insufficiency and an increased osteoporosis risk. The straightening orthosis stabilizes and improves posture, which counteracts her elevated risk of falling. Now is exactly the right time to use this orthosis, before she suffers from her first osteoporotic fracture. It will also help with the existing unsteady gait. According to Ulrike Lenk, in addition to the straightening effect and correcting poor posture, the orthosis can also help to strengthen muscles because the patient is more active. The treating physiotherapist and physician agreed and encouraged Edeltraut to try the orthosis. Today, she has her appointment at Orthopädiehaus Lenk, which takes place in accordance with the applicable hygiene regulations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Flexible modular system

Die Rückenorthese wird individuell an die Patienten angepasst. Hier erfolgt gerade das Kürzen der Gurte auf eine für die Trägerin praktikable Länge.
The back orthosis is adapted to the individual patient. This image shows the straps being shortened to a length that is practical for the wearer.

Full of expectations, Edeltraut Pfützner enters the large treatment room that features a walking frame, chair and mirror. Ulrike Lenk, her brother Stefan Lenk and expert orthotist Burkhard Kindermann are already waiting for her. The room is wheelchair accessible, bright and open like the rest of the specialist medical retailer’s new headquarters. This creates trust and a positive experience of being cared for. Stefan Lenk adapts the Spinova Osteo to his patient step by step. Once the spine length and pelvis measurements have been taken, he selects the reclinator and pelvic support. Both components can be combined in different sizes. This is a huge advantage compared with many other orthoses, which his colleague Burkhard Kindermann appreciates in field sales in particular, for example, when treating someone in hospital or at home: “We often don’t know what to expect on-site. But the modular system allows us to cover all possible sizes with only a few products. We can adapt the orthosis without tools, which also reduces the amount of material we need to bring. That offers a lot of flexibility.” This practical approach when fitting the orthosis also has advantages for the patient: they can be treated quickly and provided with comprehensive information, even when there is little space. Even precise adjustment is possible. This also makes instructing and testing easier.

“The risk factors for osteoporotic fractures have significantly increased over the last few years,”

says Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Kurth, first chairman of the board of Dachverband Osteologie (DVO) e.V., the German osteology umbrella organization, in Bauerfeind life magazine 2/2020.

Read his interview about osteoporosis guidelines and the recommendation of spine-straightening orthoses as an integral treatment component at bauerfeind-life.com

 

Well, there you go,” she says, standing upright.

Stefan Lenk pulls the large mirror across and shows the attentive patient how the orthosis is put on properly. The mirror is one of his most important tools: Edeltraut Pfützner can see the correct position from the front and watch how the orthosis must be closed. She holds on to the walking frame to keep her balance. Stefan Lenk is also giving detailed instructions to her husband while he is watching to get familiarized with the product. If needed, he can help her at home. Informing family members is standard for Lenk medical retailer. Stefan Lenk instructs the patient to slide into the orthosis like a vest, with the shoulder straps first. Then he adjusts the pelvic support. He adapts the reclinator to Edeltraut’s spine with controlled bending movements. The moment of truth is getting closer: how do the patient’s statics change when the straightening action of the orthosis takes effect?
She is still supporting her upper body with her hands on the walking frame. Stefan Lenk gently pulls on the straps to apply force. Edeltraut Pfützner looks surprised. “Well, there you go,” she says. That sounds like: it’s working! The targeted straightening effect is applied from the shoulders. Having pushed away the walker and the walking frame, Edeltraut Pfützner is standing in the middle of the room. “It’s a completely different feeling. It’s not inconvenient at all,” she comments with excitement. Stefan and Ulrike Lenk’s eyes are lighting up. Even if they have seen this reaction many times before, this first moment will decide how much an orthosis can help their patients later during everyday activities: “If it fits and they notice the effect immediately, they will wear the orthosis. How effective the orthosis will be for Mrs. Pfützner will become clear during everyday walking, sitting as well as regular donning and doffing of the orthosis. But we know from experience that the Spinova Osteo has a positive long-term effect. We’re looking forward to her next postcard with best wishes from her excursions in and around Meissen.”

Die Spinova Osteo richtet den ­Oberkörper mit einer langen ­Aluminiumschiene, dem Reklinator, und einem doppelt gekreuzten Gurtsystem auf. Die Zugkraft läuft über die Schultern und kann vom Patienten selbst eingestellt werden.
The Spinova Osteo straightens the upper body with a long aluminum splint (reclinator) and a double-crossed strap system. The tension of the straps is applied via the shoulders and can be adjusted by patients themselves.

Passive and active support – for an upright posture

The Spinova Osteo back orthosis straightens the thoracic and lumbar spine and provides sagittal stabilization. In this way, it helps patients with a latent risk of falling and fracturing to have less pain, a better posture and a more confident gait.
The orthosis is secured on the body using a pelvic support. This leaves the abdomen and chest free for breathing, while keeping the Spinova Osteo in a secure position during walking and sitting. The reclinator is adapted to the spine by hand and acts as a long lever. The passively straightening force is applied from the shoulders via a double-crossed tensioning strap system that can be adjusted by patients themselves using finger loops. In the case of incorrect posture, the orthosis offers gentle resistance to encourage patients to actively sit or stand up straight and train their back muscles.
The Spinova Osteo is very lightweight and easy to put on with Velcro fastenings. It is suitable for all indications that require active straightening to relieve and correct the lumbar and thoracic spine as well as restriction of movement in the sagittal plane, e.g. stable, osteoporotic vertebral fractures, osteoporosis, painful hunched back and muscular insufficiency.

 

Images: Thomas Lebie (2), Bauerfeind


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