Spinova Osteo New freedom in osteoporosis treatment
While Spinova Osteo isn’t the first orthosis that straightens the spine, it’s the first one that leaves lots of room free for the chest and abdomen. “It’s an extremely useful tool in multimodal osteoporosis therapy,” says orthopedic specialist Dr. med. Bodo Kretschmann one year on from the market launch of the orthosis.
Anyone seeking out the physician in the German town of Müllheim to the south of Freiburg in Baden-Württemberg can choose between two buildings in the same street. The sign outside the main practice in Werderstraße reads “Specialist in orthopedics and trauma surgery, accident insurance consultant , and osteologist (DVO)”, while another branch of the practice has recently been opened just up the street with the title “Preventive medicine, equipment-based osteoporosis therapy with the Galileo, and reference center for therapy with the HUBER360”. When it comes to dealing with bone disease, Werderstraße in Müllheim is a good place to go. And questions about a new orthosis are knowledgably answered here. The physician is quite clear in his opinion about the medical aid: he considers the Spinova Osteo a suitable component of multimodal osteoporosis therapy. The osteologist says that he has prescribed the orthosis to around fifteen patients to date. And his assessment so far? “The Spinova Osteo, with the new options that it offers, is a welcome addition to the range of orthoses designed to straighten the back.”
Straightening prevents a chain reaction
The orthosis relieves pain caused by osteoporosis by straightening and stabilizing the spine. At the same time, it corrects postural misalignments and improves the patient’s gait. “These are both key factors in minimizing the risk of patients falling,” emphasizes Dr. Kretschmann. He also explains how important it is to straighten the spine by describing the chain reaction that otherwise occurs: “Kyphosis caused by gradual compression fractures or broken bones in the thoracic spine leads to a much greater risk of falling,” the physician explains. “If the process continues , the patient ends up falling forward at some point , typically resulting in a fracture of the radius.” In the osteologist’s experience, a straightening orthosis is an excellent way of breaking this vicious circle. With his views on this matter, the orthopedic specialist is completely in tune with the Dachverband Osteologie (DVO) – the Umbrella Association for Osteology for all German-speaking expert osteology associations – of which he is a member. In the draft S3 Guidelines 2017 – where S3 stands for the highest level of quality in evidence and recommendation – it is stated that , in cases of acute stable osteoporotic vertebral body fractures, conservative therapy with a spine-straightening orthosis to treat pain and restricted function can be considered.
Sensitive areas of the accessory muscles of respiration are left free
“The necessary straightening must be portrayed by the design of the orthosis,” insists Dr. Kretschmann. “And the Spinova Osteo does just that.” The spine is straightened by the long lever of the aluminum reclinator, which is anchored in a stabilizing pelvic support. “And what’s more, there are no constricting straps,” Dr. Kretschmann continues. “That’s something which the patients really appreciate.” This is indeed a very special feature of the Spinova Osteo, which was launched onto the market in early 2017, and one of its USPs that sets it apart from the other straightening orthoses available: the chest and abdomen are left free. Patients who wear this orthosis have no constricting straps in these sensitive areas of the accessory muscles of respiration. Instead, the straightening force, which can be individually adjusted, comes from a crossed tensioning strap system that takes in the sides of the body and passes over the shoulders.
Success = patient comes to the check-up wearing the orthosis
How does the osteologist measure the success of his combined therapy with the Spinova Osteo? Of course, medication, physiotherapy, and the Galileo and HUBER360 multifunctional equipment mentioned earlier all play a vital part in the multimodal treatment provided by the physician. But the benefits of the orthosis particularly come to the fore when patients are experiencing acute pain. “Pain is quite clearly the trigger for putting on the Spinova Osteo,” says the physician. “The acuter the pain, the faster the patient reaches for the orthosis. And the more noticeable the relief.” The physician says that he often also sees a combination of generally degenerative and osteoporotic processes, and that in these cases, the “aha effect” of the pain relief is less pronounced. Patients – usually unwittingly – give a clear indication of the success of the orthosis therapy when they turn up for their check-up with the physician. “If a patient turns up wearing the orthosis, it’s clear that they’re finding it helpful ,” explains Dr. Kretschmann, “and any patient turning up not wearing it will not fool me with the excuse ‘I just wanted to save time when getting undressed for the examination’”!
“You’re walking completely differently all of a sudden!”
The physician believes that he himself has a responsibility to help sort out any problems relating to compliance. To make sure that the patient wears the orthosis consistently as required, Dr. Kretschmann explains to the patient how orthoses work and how comfortable they are nowadays. “Alongside the team of orthotists at the medical supply retailer, I also see it as my responsibility to persuade patients of the benefits of medical aids and to rid them of the notion that an orthosis will feel constrictive and uncomfortable. It makes my job much easier when, as in the case of the Spinova Osteo, there are no bothersome straps in the way, the orthosis doesn’t slip, it’s unobtrusive under clothing, and can even be worn when sitting down.” However, the biggest validation for wearing an orthosis comes from a completely different source – a neighbor who, quite by chance, meets the patient by the elevator: “You’re walking quite differently – what’s changed?” Any patient hearing that then puts their new-found mobility to the test by opting for the stairs instead. “After all , taking an active part in everyday life again is what matters more to elderly people than anything else,” Dr. Kretschmann explains.†
Images: Patrick Seeger