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Author Topic: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down?  (Read 8166 times)

Offline lizl

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New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down?
« on: March 07, 2003, 05:13:12 AM »
I'm now just over five weeks post op--I was so looking forward to getting a brace with hinges, but the darned thing won't stay up. It's heavier than the one I had.

No kidding, I have tightened it so much that I have pressure ridges all up and down my leg--and I can't even walk from the bedroom to the living room before the things falls down around my ankle and the opening for the patella is on my shin! Of course, that is painful, because the weight of the brace is pushing down on the kneecap.

I'm sure that I am cutting off circulation, because my knee swells and gets red when I'm not walking. Then, of course, when I get up to walk a bit, down it goes!  Now, I know that cannot be doing whatever the hinged brace is supposed to be doing. This is the third day with it and it is not getting better. I slept in it the first night (slept, HA!). But last night I put on the old one, because the hinged thing hurts so bad when it shifts out of position, and I was sore and tired from fighting it all day.

Is this brace the wrong size or what? Any hints on how to get it to stay in place?

LizL
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Heather_K.

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2003, 08:06:12 AM »
Hi LizL,
 I have gone through a lot of braces in my 4 years of knee pain and 6 surgeries so far. I have experienced some of the same problems as you have been having. One thing I do is wear an ace wrap under the brace and sometimes that's enough to keep it from slipping. You can also try tightening the bottom straps of the brace a lot tighter than the top straps. If a regular ace wrap doesn't work there are also self adhesive wraps and the brace would have a very difficult time slipping off that.  If all that fails, call the OS's office and see if they have any additional ideas. I just got a new brace and my leg was really swollen that day, now the brace is quite large on me, I am wearing it over my pants to add some bulk to keep the brace up. Good Luck!
Heather K.
rt: lateral. release, chondroplasty, TTT+ LR, MPFL recon.+scar tissue removed Left: TTT+LR, revision with new screws + 8 ankle surgeries =Total of 30 surgeries, MRSA infect. with muscle/skin graft surgery. Surgeries 10 RT knee, 12 LefT knee, 8 Left ankle. message/email me for info/advice on TTT's. .

Helen_uk

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2003, 02:35:26 PM »
I wear mine over an elastic bandage and wear snug fitting trouseras on top and that seems to keep it up but I probably adjut it a few times during the day.
H xxx ;)

Offline lizl

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2003, 01:16:59 AM »
Thanks. I tried two elastic wraps today, and that helped--though I my knee is really swollen after wearing the bandages and the brace still slips some. Do you wear the elastic bandage over the knee itself or over thigh or calf to just change the shape/bulk? Directly over the knee was painful, but maybe that will be the best solution in a few more days. Wrapping the knee restricts movement. Does that defeat the purpose of having the hinged brace? Of course, if I can't wear the thing at all, that's a moot point.

Heather--I want to check out the self-adhesive bandages, as well. What do they look like? Do I find them in the same area as elastic (Ace) bandages? Good luck with your new brace, as well.

Helen--I'm thinking ahead to going back to work, and I guess I'll just have to plan on making several trips a day to a bathroom, so I can pull down my pants and pull up my brace!

Thanks, and let me know if you think of any more tips. Overall, this seems trivial--but I was really looking forward to making progress, and I feel like I took a step backward.

LizL

2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Emily

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2003, 01:17:22 AM »
I agree with all the other thing that have been listed, but also wearing panty hose over the brace can help sometimes!!
Emily
Right Knee- 10-14-03- LR, TTO, Scope, Plica excision
               4-20-04- Scope, screw removal, scar tissue clean up

Left knee- subluxing, maltracking & malaligned-not ready to start treatmet..

Offline lizl

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2003, 01:25:12 AM »
I'm going to need a bit more bend in the hinges before I can put pantyhose on that leg! It's something I will certainly keep in mind. Thanks.

I've been thinking that I want to go get a pedicure (never had one) when I can get around a bit, because I cannot reach my foot to work on the toenails or to put on lotion. It seems frivolous, but I'm ready for pampering!

LizL
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Donna

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2003, 03:15:37 AM »
Liz,

I also cannot seem to get my brace  to stay up. I actually have 4 different braces and none of them will stay up. My OS office suggested wearing a pair of hiking boots with the long leg brace to help keep it from slipping down to the floor. I have also tried the ace bandage under mine but it still slipped after a few steps.There must be something out there to keep them from slipping. I'm going to try the hiking boot thing this week.
Does anyone else have any suggestions? I would love to try them. I really need my brace for support.
Thanks! :)

Donna
4/88 menis, chondroplasty,
10/01 menis, chondroplasty
2/02 microfrac,chondro,menis,
4/02 Fulkerson TTT, LR, microfrac,
2/03 open LR,fat pad removal, lysis,menis Still need more surgery.

Offline Emily

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2003, 04:01:54 AM »
Ong thing that just seems logical to me is that shelf paper that is like bumpy and you put it under cups... I wonder if you could sut it into strips and use it like an ace because it is textured and it should stay in place. Who knows Im just tryin to use my noggin!
Right Knee- 10-14-03- LR, TTO, Scope, Plica excision
               4-20-04- Scope, screw removal, scar tissue clean up

Left knee- subluxing, maltracking & malaligned-not ready to start treatmet..

Offline Shazinoz

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2003, 09:07:28 AM »
I too have had this problem in the past, try using tubular bandage (like a footless sock) both under and over the race, smaller size under, larger size over, and this helps, It can be hard as most knee braces are actually designed for the male leg and not the female leg, we have different anatomical shape to our legs. Also it depends ofn the brand of the brace but they can be "fitted" to your leg by having the metal stays inthe sides bent to fit the contours of YOUR leg (This should only be done by a professional orthotist or other professional). Also using an ace bandage can cause swelling probelms by not allow the blood from getting out of your leg properly thus reducing circulation and causing swelling and pain. And as you have a broken patella, it probably isn't a good ide bandaging over your patella unless the OS says ytou can as you might shift something. Also some brace companies can supply you with a product called "brace sox" for free this is a cotton or other material tube that helps reduce slipping in the brace and also reduces sweating and the rashes this can cause.
Hope this helps
Sharon
2 ACL 'reco's', 3 'scopes', Pain, JRA, EDS, RSD, CMP, osetochondral defect & #, synovitis, adhesions, nerve damage, foot drop, MCL damage, tendonitis, fibrosis, ligament damage AGAIN, dislocations +++

Offline lizl

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2003, 09:52:27 AM »
Thanks, everybody! Please continue with the suggestions, as this seems to be a problem we all have in common--at least at some point.

I think I'll phone the OS Monday morning to ask about the "brace sock" mentioned by Sharon. I'm going to get some of that shelf liner, and try it too.

I have tried wearing an Ace (elastic) bandage over the thigh, the knee itself (not comfortable on the still-healing patella), and on my calf.  The thigh and calf locations do seem to provide some friction and bulk to help keep the brace in place, but when I get it tight enough to work for a while, I am getting more swelling.

The problem is that my leg is kind of like an inverted Eifel tower, except for the bulge of the injured knee. I just cannot tolerate the weight of the brace resting on the knee--and I'm sure it isn't supposed to be putting that pressure on the knee, anyway! I don't have much contour to bend the brace to, but that is something else I'll ask the OS.

Trying to strap the brace onto my thigh is kind of like trying to strap it onto Jello. Now matter how tight it is, the Jello slips and slides out of it. I know if I had more muscle, it would be better, but five weeks of immobilizer pretty much did away with the muscle in my thigh and in my calf. I'm working on leg lifts (admittedly, they are itty bitty ones), but I sure can't see any progress yet.

Donna: I'd pretty much decided that it is going to be ugly shoes for the rest of my life, anyway, so I might look into the hiking boot idea. After breaking my foot three years ago and now this broken knee, I'm out of the "girlie" shoe business.  
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Shibasmom

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2003, 09:35:20 PM »
I love the jello and eiffel towel references!

I agree with the braces falling down - what a pain! Kind of like tube tops in the 70's.


I wonder, if you could stick velcro to your pants and the underneath side of the brace.  Someone (maybe Nike) should do that.

Kimberly
Lft ACL cadaver replacement and meniscus tears

Offline lizl

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2003, 03:11:32 AM »
My husband says I need one of those old-fashioned garter belts, in a sort of heavy-duty version. Maybe Victoria's Secret could work up somethng sexy! LOL
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline Donna

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2003, 04:32:08 AM »
Liz,

How funny! My husband said the same thing!! Maybe somebody will invent something like that for us knee brace wearers. Ha Ha.

Donna
4/88 menis, chondroplasty,
10/01 menis, chondroplasty
2/02 microfrac,chondro,menis,
4/02 Fulkerson TTT, LR, microfrac,
2/03 open LR,fat pad removal, lysis,menis Still need more surgery.

Offline Shazinoz

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2003, 01:08:38 PM »
elieve it or not there is such a thing ina a fashon, it is known as the pelvic or hip section of a pace it can be a brace like the knee brace or more like a leather or material kind of pelvic section. These braces (the brace kind) are usually known as HKAFO's or Hip, Knee, Ankle, Foot orthosis, the other kind is usually soemthing that an orthotisit can pout togehter for people with hemiplegia and toher disorders (sort of like what people with artificial legs use to hold the legs on) I would suggest asking an orthotist or prosthetist (usually thery are both, orthotist is someone who makes brces and prosthetists are people who make artificial limbs).
Not as pretty as Victoria Secrets I am sure but functional.
Hope this gives you an option.
Sharon
2 ACL 'reco's', 3 'scopes', Pain, JRA, EDS, RSD, CMP, osetochondral defect & #, synovitis, adhesions, nerve damage, foot drop, MCL damage, tendonitis, fibrosis, ligament damage AGAIN, dislocations +++

Offline lizl

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Re: New brace--HOW can I keep it from falling down
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2003, 10:05:17 PM »
After hearing about all of the suggestions here (and laughing over the prospect of a Victoria's Secret-leather-type garter for my leg brace), my husband suggested that I try using the elastic tube that held the surgical dressing in place when I first came home from the hospital. I actually had two different ones, which we washed and alternated to hold gauze pads over the wound to protect the staples from rubbing against the brace.

It's a stretchy, elastic tube thing that is made from a kind of elastic webbing. The ribbing left marks up and down my leg when I was wearing it, so it made sense that those ridges might present some resistance to the brace. It works better than the Ace bandage (brown elastic wrap). Here's a photo of what it looks like (the white thing on my foot is an unstretched version of the tubing):



(I resized the photo, so I hope it doesn't take too much time to load.)

If you are interested in trying this, do a Google search for Tubular Gauze Retainer.

I even found some on the KMart web site, where it is called Tubular Elastic Dressing Retainer:

http://www.bluelight.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1191807

I phoned the OS today, and the person who fitted me for the brace said that the biggest complaint about knee imobilizers is that they fall down. Her only advice was that I just keep tightening it and maybe wear it over slacks (though she had expressly cautioned me NOT to that earlier).

For now, I'm having better luck with the tubing than with anything else I have tried. It doesn't keep the brace from slipping, but it certainly cuts down on it. Hope this helps someone else.

LizL
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March