Achieving a customized fit
Practical knee workshop in Canada
From Bauerfeind Life Magazin
Orthoses and supports must fit perfectly to achieve their maximum effect and to ensure patient compliance. A roadshow organized by our Canadian distribution partner Galien in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal earlier this year demonstrated the options Bauerfeind products can offer for individualized patient care for knee injuries.
We need the orthopedic know-how of all experts involved when supports and orthoses are to be adjusted to the requirements and body shape of individual patients. In other words: The high quality of a manufacturer’s products is in the hands of orthotists and therapists, who fits them to the patient. The goal of this roadshow staged in three metropolitan areas in Canada was to bring together this treatment expertise and to show how to achieve the best results with Bauerfeind orthoses and supports when treating patients with knee injuries. During this well-attended event , expert orthotist Dirk Schwager from the Bauerfeind Academy presented customized treatment options for knee injuries to more than 100 customers – including many technicians and therapists. “In Canada, we have a high proportion of individualized solutions in orthopedics,” explains Michael Heguy, President of Galien Group. “This is why our customers were particularly excited about the comprehensive demonstrations showing the adjustment of the orthoses and measurement of the supports by Bauerfeind during the roadshow.”
Orthoses adapted to the needs of individual patients
During the event , the expert from Bauerfeind demonstrated on a patient how the SecuTec Genu, and SofTec Genu knee orthoses are properly measured, adjusted and fitted to the individual body shape to ensure a secure fit during all everyday movements – from sitting down and getting up, to walking. In addition, he showed how little effort is needed to adjust the restriction of movement , the quick-fit fasteners and the straps as needed during the course of therapy. It was also illustrated that the orthoses are absolutely suitable for daily use – patients can put them on in just a few simple steps without the help of others. “What really sets SecuTec Genu apart are its numerous integrated settings, in particular, the fact that the hinges can easily be adjusted without tools,” emphasized Steve Broad, BSc in Kinesiology at the medical supply retailer Kinemedics headquartered in Ottawa. “The fastening system is also very clever. It allows the patient to put on the orthosis super easily,” added Joanne St. Pierre from the orthotics specialist Equilibrum, based in Saint-Eustache.
Customized treatment with supports
The roadshow also focused on treatment options with the GenuTrain S Pro and GenuTrain knee supports. In addition to a comprehensive system of standard sizes, the supports are also available as custom-made solutions. The flat-knit technology used allows different patients to be equipped with stabilizing compression knit adapted to their anatomy. This means that very tall or very short patients, as well as those with measurements not covered by standard sizes, can receive a product that remains in the correct position even during movement.
Dirk Schwager demonstrated on a patient how and where the knee products are measured, and how order pads for custom-made products with measurement guidelines can be used. Lively discussions developed among the participants about the use of the products based on treatment examples from their own experience. “Many runners or cyclists have relatively small calves but much more pronounced thighs. If I give them a standard product that fits perfectly at the thigh, it will definitely not fit at the calf,” CPO (Certified Prosthetist Orthotist) Carlo Berretta, vice president of J.E. Hanger based in Montreal described his experience. “If, however, I treat their knee problems with a custom-made GenuTrain, this may be a permanent solution for these athletes. They will wear the support until their symptoms go away, and then they will put it aside. If they need knee treatment again later, they can just put on the same support.”
Sound professional advice as the basis for optimum care
If a custom-made product would be the only good solution, it is important to understand the patient’s point of view and to provide comprehensive professional advice in order to convince them of the product that matches their requirements. “Most patients coming to me usually only know that they are supposed to get an orthosis or support ,” said Joanne St. Pierre. “First , I have to explain the details of their injury to them and show them the possible long-term effects that can be achieved with the correct product. I recommend custom-made products in particular to patients with severe symptoms, because that is the only way a perfect result can be achieved.” “The knee treatment must fit perfectly to support the patients exactly how they need it ,” Steve Broad added. “And when the product fits and is comfortable, patients will wear it , resulting in very high compliance.”
Images: Racine Imagine