Fitting guidelines and care instructions for patients and carers
What is the brace for?
The brace has been prescribed to support your spine for a period of time as set by the orthopaedic consultant responsible for your care. The brace is designed to stop you from bending forwards.
When should I wear the brace?
The brace should be worn at all times whenever you are not lying flat in bed, until you have your review with the orthopaedic consultant.
Please do not alter any of the fittings on the brace after they have been set by your physiotherapist.
Fitting the brace
The brace should be fitted with the help of a carer when you are lying flat on your bed.
- Your carer will assist you to roll onto your right side.
- The carer will slide the brace under your right side by pushing it into the mattress. Do not try and assist by lifting your body off the bed. It should sit in the middle of your back with the plastic panels sitting just over your hips.
- Your carer will then assist you to roll onto your back.
- Place the chest piece in the centre of your chest and fasten the Velcro at the front (try to overlap the bar).
- Connect the under arm straps to the chest piece (they will click into position).
Please note: the straps may be over the shoulder but this will be decided by your physiotherapist on the ward. These will also be adjusted by the physiotherapist on the ward, so there is no need to tighten the straps.
- Take a deep breath in, pull the thumb loop fasteners tight and stick down onto the Velcro (the left hand fastener will tighten the top half of the lumbar brace and the right hand fastener will tighten the bottom half).
The easiest way to get from lying to sitting is roll on to your side, lower your legs over the edge of the bed and push yourself up.
From here you are able to stand and move around as able.
Please note: You may wish to re-adjust the thumb loop fasteners once standing to ensure an optimum fit.
The brace should be a snug fit, but it should not cause you any undue pain or restrict your breathing.
Correct fitting with over-shoulder strap
Removing the brace
You must be lying flat on your back when you remove the brace.
- Loosen the thumb loop straps and stick back onto the side of the Velcro waist band.
- Then undo the under-arm straps by pushing the circular buttons.
- Next, undo the Velcro holding the main strap in place.
- Your carer will assist you to lie onto your right side and push the brace into the bed to pull it out from underneath you.
Please note: You can only sit up to 30° without your brace on.
Care and maintenance
- Wash the pads periodically by hand with a damp cloth and mild soap.
- Use a towel to absorb the dampness and then allow to dry at room temperature.
- Do not hang it up, iron or expose to direct heat sources such as stoves, heaters, radiators or direct sunlight.
- Do not expose to alcohol, ointments or solvents.
Personal care guidelines for TLSO brace
- It is recommended that this is done on a firm mattress, not memory foam.
- You must lie flat so that your brace can be removed.
- Roll on to your side for someone to wash your back.
- You must wear the brace when having a strip wash but avoid getting it wet.
- Wet wipes may make this easier.
Washing your hair
- It would be easiest to use dry hair shampoo.
- Lie flat in bed with your head close to the end of the bed. Someone can then assist with washing your hair (advice about equipment is available).
- It is advisable not to shower or bath for the period of time that you have been prescribed the brace as this will affect the warranty.
- A clean cotton t-shirt or vest top should be worn under the brace at all times. This is to be put on whilst lying down.
- Elastic-waist shorts/jogging bottoms are recommended so that they can be pulled over the brace.
- A soft cotton (non-under-wired) bra will be most comfortable for ladies.
- Wash frequently.
- Change your t-shirt at least daily.
- Keep the skin dry.
- A light dusting of non-scented talcum powder may help to keep the skin dry and prevent irritations.
- It is important to spend some time during the day lying flat in bed with the brace off.
- Your skin should be checked twice daily for pressure sores. These are areas of redness that do not go away after the brace is removed.
If you suffer with increasing discomfort from your brace after you have been discharged from hospital, or have any queries, please contact the surgical appliance office on 01271 322492.