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Author Topic: Immobilizer & Comfort  (Read 7719 times)

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Offline Rina

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Immobilizer & Comfort
« on: August 14, 2002, 02:45:33 AM »
Any tips on comfort while in an immobilizer or one of the fairly elaborate braces?  I'm 3+ weeks post op and still adjusting to this thing.  Pillow between the legs at night, rolling back and forth so my daughter can help adjust the straps front and back.

They should make the people who design these things wear them.  Do you think they have ever felt the hooks of velcro against tender flesh?

Anyways experience or tips would be handy.

Thanks
Rina
Elmslie-Trillat & LR 7/18/02

Offline Sharon

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2002, 03:05:38 AM »
I know how you feel! I had a distal realignment on July 10 and I've been locked at 0 degrees in a bledsoe brace ever since. The only time I'm allowed to remove or unlock it is at PT or for taking a shower and I'm really starting to HATE this brace!!! I'm only 5'1" and they gave me the smallest brace that they had but it's still too big so I also have the annoyance of having to adjust the velcro about 50 times a day or it starts to fall off of my leg. As I've only been wearing this thing for about a week longer than you I don't really have any tips for you-just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in feeling uncomfortable with one of these things!!

Sharon
Left knee:
LR-5/99 & 9/01
Distal realignment and LR 7/02
TTT revision 6/03
screw removal/MUA 10/03
d/x with severe patella baja
7/05 patellar tendon replacement w/piece of quad tendon
4/07 OATS

Offline melissa

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2002, 04:58:07 AM »
Rhina- I had a Fulkerson osteotomy and LR done and am still in am immobilizer for 2 more weeks (6 weeks total).  I am able to loosen mine. I undo it while laying across the couch or in a chair with a pillow under it. SO if at all possible stick a pillow under your leg while sitting in a chair and make sure it is staight, then undo the immobilizer, you will find it much more comfortable. I totally agree that they are very uncomfortable and am counting the days until mine comes off (10 days), but then I have the next done in dec. yet another round to look forward to. Good luck with your recovery.
                                                                         Melissa
screws removed 12/03
Fulkerson and LR 12/16/02 on right knee
Fulkerson and LR 7/11/02 on left knee

Offline wendy

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2002, 05:18:28 AM »
I have spent a lot of time in immobilizers. They are not comfortable at all. I too found that getting in a good podition either on a sofa or chair and releasing the velcro even a tad helped quite a bit.

Just letting your skin breathe feels good, but it also seemed to relax me some so that my knee began to feel a little better. As long as I was VERY careful I didn't have a problem. I did occasionally forget that I had undone the brace so I began velcroing it to the sofa and just loosening it a bit. (But I am a little absent minded at times ;))

Good Luck and try to stay comfortable!!!
Wendy
began running long distances at age 7. Now I have two knees that have given in to my abuse! 3 scopes, LRs, Patella tendon repositionings, and years of pain. PKR on both. Diagnosed with RSD 3/4/2003.

Offline Ross

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2002, 12:38:26 PM »
Rina, they don't make immobilisers for comfort because the folks who make them seldom have to wear them.  Believe me, I was in a spinal brace off and on for about eight years.  When I took charge of the deal and took it to my custom upholsterer he thought I was out of my mind but humoured me anyway.  A couple of years later he'd set up as an orthopaedic aids supplier as a sideline.

The aluminium splints in the immobiliser I have were in the habit of jabbing me so they were treated to a visit to my mate's uphostery shop.  The folks who make these jiggers must walk in terror of the day the 95% of us who reckon their poorly designed products stink form a lobby to have their incomes investigated.  

What other industry is so well rewarded for inflicting this level of discomfort? (other than OSs and PTs of course!)
I'm a grumpy old bear with a busted knee.  The growling you hear is my tummy rumbling!

Offline Shazinoz

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2002, 05:01:26 PM »
I to think that immobilisers were devised by a medievil torture artist, I have been in my current one for the last 7 weeks (and still don't actualy know what is wrong with my knee) and have used them at least twice before 1st upon tearing my ACL out of my femur while accidently stepping in a hole while changing direction (OUCH) and 2ndly Post ACL reco number 2 for 7 weeks. I have found that if I wear "tubigrip" or stokinette or what ever you call it over there (I am in Australia  :D ) underneath my brace, then pad out any spots that it is diggin in with cotton wool or thin foam and then wear another lager piece of Tubigrip overthe top (sort of like a knee sandwich  ;D ) then I get some relief as the tubigrip under helps with the sweat etc problems and provides added compression, the cotton wool helps with the pressure points and the tubigrip over the top helps with stopping the velco wreck the skin on my other leg, the fabric of my clothes and seats etc. I too loosen or take off my brace but only when my knee is protected (usually by a few pillows (sort of as a reminder (1 under and 1 on eachside to remind me not to move it, with a small air gap for that excuisit feel of air moving over hot, sweaty cooped up skin. The other thing i love is to rub my leg with a cool cloth and to use a simple moisturiser etc and even a powder such as "curash" to prevent those yucky sweat rashes from being in this stinky, horrible, bulky, uncomfortable, strap on torture device. And I hope I can actually find ot what is wong and get out of this brace (at the moment it is only a precaution until the doc's can decide what is wrong) I shake at the thought that I may have to continue it's use after diagnosis.
Hope this helps
« Last Edit: August 14, 2002, 05:05:55 PM by Shazinoz »
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 mark

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2002, 10:17:55 PM »
You always have to wear them at the hottest time of the year too!!!! I wrapped my leg in a flour sack so that it was about two inches above the immobilizer and then tightened the velcro and folded the towel over the top it at least keeps it from rubbing a hole in your leg.
2/95 Rt knee scope, 3/96 L knee scope, mencus repair, 1/02 L knee scope, realligned patella debrided cartlage damage, 10/02 carticel harvest attemped, failed, 12/02  L knee Fulkerson

Offline Puzzledbubbles

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2002, 01:37:55 AM »
Unfortunately i learnt that the words comfort and immobiliser do not go together, i was in a bledsco brace for 6 weeks and it was not good, it added to other problems like trapped fluid which then in turn cause blood clots and fears of deep vein thrombosis (im only 19)

i found that a sweet scented moisturiser like vanilla (my vavorite scent) applied once a day helped to keep all that sweaty dead skin at bay and that it also relieved the heat. i found that a hankerchief folded and placed on the areas where the plastic rubbed like on the inside thigh really helped but it did add to the sweating.

Basically just do what feels comfortble and that it does get better, i promise. im now 10 weeks post op and i can drive a short distance, walk medium distance and ive started to tackle stairs (i live in a bungalow) Good luck

Luv and hugs

Puzzledbubbles ;D
Knee probs for 5 years before my first surgery of an Elmslie Trillat and a latera release.
3 years post-op still suffering and now thinking about surgery on my right knee

Offline Heavy_Harry

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2005, 07:03:13 AM »
Hi People

Oh yes some of the braces ie:C180 have a latex rubber pad where they sit on the skin. Your skin has to have a certin frimness or you'll get some really great blisters!!! I had fow almost over a month and the skin on my leg is so frim it the rubber pads sit on it without the pressure sores.

When I first got this brace I had alot of comfort issues with it, blistering, brace on raw skin and rashes from fricton. I took a while for the skin to break it in too. Plus I had to have the brace "tweaked" as I was getting pressure sore on the side of my thigh.

 Now most of the time I wear them all day and it feel comfy whist been worn. At the end of the day, I take the brace off and I have a great "PRINTOUT!!!" The pattern of the latex is obviously apparent. I gave my skin a good rub and moisturize the skin as they dry in winter. Sometime the skin itches but I try to rub it to sooth it.

So far so good.

Offline Alias

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2005, 02:13:51 AM »
I was just taken out of my immobilizer a week ago and put into an adjustable post op brace.  What I found with the immobizer is find a comfortable position, which as you mentioned seems almost impossible.  I found laying partway on my back and part on my side to help the best and on the couch with two pillows under my leg.  Also I realized the two most important straps to keep a little snugger were the one just above the knee and the one just below it and then the rest could be loosened a little more for comfort.

Roxy
1986- lateral release rk
1988- cartilage repair rk
2004- plica removal rk
June 14, 2005- TTT, VMO advancement and lateral release rk
http://spaces.msn.com/members/RoxJones/

shadehawk

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2005, 03:04:20 AM »
Hi,

I find that these pillows really help if you are normally a tummy sleeper and now have to wear an immobilizer at night....  You can get your leg up over this soft pillow and sleep on your side - really helped me......
Body pillows available at chain stores like (walmart and zellers). - Shade


Offline SallyW

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2005, 10:35:11 PM »
I've worn immobilizers for a total of about 12 weeks; they have been the kind that don't allow the leg to bend at all...longest time in one has been 6 weeks. I agree - they aren't comfortable, but compared to the "comfort" of a cast (or an OA brace), I much appreciate immobilizers! If you keep it in perspective, it helps...Remember that you can scratch while wearing an immobilizer and you don't have as much metal as you would with a "major league" OA brace...of the three "options" that I've experienced (brace, immobilizer, or cast), the immoblizer is wonderful!

I just used an extra bed pilllow at night to keep my leg from rolling around; during the day, I just parked my leg/immobilizer on an extra chair (if I could find one), a box, or even a crutch (at an angle).
Right knee: LR/TTT 1995 Left knee: LR/TTT 2000, Microfracture & partial meniscus removal 2004, Synvisc 2004, Unloader 2004, OATS 6/20/2005, Synvisc 2006, Debridement 2006

shadehawk

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2005, 10:55:22 PM »
Sally W.

You are so right about casts, they can be a nightmare to sleep in also..... 

I remember when I broke my ankle & had a cast on all through summer and the cast went from knee to my toes.  I had a stick shift car also, but somehow managed to drive, wonder if that was legal???  ???  Oh it was a nightmare trying to find things to use to scratch your leg.  Oh, after awhile you get very inventive though!!  HaHa!!

At least the immobilizer can be taken off to have a shower.....

WOW, you were immobilized total of 12 weeks - I have been in mine for 9 days and it is getting on my nerves.   I did not realized that there were immobilizers that allowed movement - you sure can't move any in mine.....   OMG - It must have been so hard on you.  Can not imagine what you have been through...

Shade




« Last Edit: August 07, 2005, 11:38:10 PM by Shade »

Offline SallyW

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2005, 11:48:23 PM »
Yeah, well, I always figure that life is an attitude - it's what you make it. You can obsess about little things about a knee operation - focus your life on that - or focus on everything else...not saying that you are doing that, of course, but...that's why I really have avoided getting anything "medical" that hasn't been absolutely necessary. I'd rather carry stuff in my teeth or around my neck (laundry) rather than weigh myself down with medical "baggage"...right now I'm finishing 7 weeks of crutches - most of that has been completely NWB (and I do not have a "sit down" job!). It'll be another week or two before I'm completely mobile (if things go well). But even though this has been a major op (even bigger than the TTTs), I haven't thought much about it, so my recovery has gone better.

Right knee: LR/TTT 1995 Left knee: LR/TTT 2000, Microfracture & partial meniscus removal 2004, Synvisc 2004, Unloader 2004, OATS 6/20/2005, Synvisc 2006, Debridement 2006

shadehawk

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Re: Immobilizer & Comfort
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2005, 05:00:43 PM »
Yeah, well, I always figure that life is an attitude - it's what you make it. You can obsess about little things about a knee operation - focus your life on that - or focus on everything else...not saying that you are doing that, of course, but...that's why I really have avoided getting anything "medical" that hasn't been absolutely necessary. I'd rather carry stuff in my teeth or around my neck (laundry) rather than weigh myself down with medical "baggage"...

Sally W.

I probably am obsessing, in your eyes.  But then you do not know me at all.....  I have never had a problem like this before & maybe it scares me.  Oh, I have broken an ankle and been in cast for 6 months as my ankle would not heal & then went out and stripped all the ligaments in the other ankle two months later & was in cast another 2 months. Then there was the horse accident where I hurt knees & totally dislocated my arm, but I managed to get my horse back home and cooled down & all his rigging off him & my rigging put away - then got my hubby to take me to the hospital.  My arm hung in two pieces & my knees were the size of melons..... (doctor did nothing for the knees) Hmmm!!, the doctor decided to try to pull my elbow back into place without meds.  That did hurt a tad...& did not work, but I digress.......

I am not a young person anymore & when I can make things comfy I do.  Why would this offend other's??  No one has to do the things that I do, & insurance has not paid for any of my aides except the cane and my scripts.  I have worked very hard in my lifetime & do not plan on roughing it - THAT IS MY CHOICE.....

For the past 18 months this site has been a godsend to me and I try to give back to the site, maybe that offends some, but my aim is to help people and let them make their own decisions.

If I am offending people then I will have to make some decisions.....

Good luck, good healing, have a lovely day & .....

Shade
« Last Edit: August 09, 2005, 09:45:44 PM by Shade »