Keeping Patients Active With OA Knee Braces

Keeping Patients Active With OA Knee Braces - Image

Education has always been a top priority for us at the Thuasne Group. It is a core value of our company because we support doctors and helping them find the best solutions for their patients. We have just returned from the AAOS Conference in which we had the privilege from hearing from the best orthopedic surgeons in the nation, as well as sharing our own expertise and educational findings, especially when it comes to OA knee braces.

Evidence of the benefits of OA knee braces exists in published studies and through the experience of orthopedic surgeons who prescribe and increasingly have staff members fitting braces in their clinics. Yet, after 25 years of commercial availability, statistics indicate only a fraction of OA patients are prescribed an offloading-type knee brace prior to surgical intervention.

Benefits of OA Knee Braces

Knee braces for conservative treatment of OA are designed to apply correction and stabilization to improve leg alignment and reduce loading forces on the damaged compartment. A study of the Townsend Design Rebel Reliever brace, conducted by researchers at Stony Brook University, demonstrated a 36% average reduction in loading forces during gait. Patients experienced significantly less pain while walking further, which lead to improved muscle function. Another randomized control trial in France showed a 40% decrease in pain in the patient group fit with a Rebel Reliever.

“Every step a patient takes wearing a brace creates an opportunity to improve alignment and transfer load,” said Rick Riley, CEO of Townsend Design, which launched its first OA Reliever brace in 1995. “The routine result is less pain and increased mobility. That’s our goal, keeping patients active prior to surgery, so they can experience a full life and avoid health issues that are exacerbated by inactivity,” said Riley.

Rebel Reliever post AAOS recap image01 Rebel Reliever2 300x300 Keeping Patients Active With OA Knee Braces“We’ve learned through the years that compliance is king. To optimize benefits and outcomes, we focus as much on brace suspension and wear-ability as we do the functional unloading provided by the brace,” said Riley.

Riley, who wore OA knee braces for more than two decades prior to having knee replacement surgeries in 2012 and 2017, believes Thuasne USA has developed viable bracing solutions for diverse body types and lifestyles. To date, the Rebel Reliever is proven best fit and highest compliance of any OA brace on the market.

The Thuasne Difference

While Thuasne USA still fabricates the most genuine custom knee braces on the market (made from leg casts or digital leg scans), the company now manufactures a wide range of single hinge and dual hinge off-the-shelf OA braces.

“We are the only manufacturer that gives physicians the option of ordering pre-sized aircraft aluminum knee braces from three leg measurements instead of the standard thigh circumference. We use these three measurements to customize the assembly. Patients with disproportional leg sizing benefit from a custom fit and a lower copayment,” Riley explained.

At this year’s AAOS meeting, Townsend / Thuasne USA showcased several innovative braces that feature a low profile, lightweight structure. The Dynamic Reliever features snap-together components, allowing clinic staff to assemble and perfectly fit a patient who has a disproportional thigh and calf. A new knitted compression-style brace, the Action Reliever, features magnetic buckles for older patients.

We are proud to be a part of AAOS and the importance of what it means to educate those in the medical field so that they may supply the best braces to their patients.