Common Problems With Hip Abduction Braces
In this article, we are going to be talking about common problems that can happen with hip abduction braces. They have the ability to stabilize someone, and that is their primary function. There can be issues that come up, however, and you have to be able to address them, and move forward when they do arise.
Patients may wear a brace that’s loose. The hip section may be loose in the short term, but it’s not going to feel comfortable. In our industry, this is called endpoint control.
The endpoint control at the top end of the brace can be loose. So, then all of a sudden, the support really goes down. It’s not in your best interest to put rags or other objects in your braces.
Always make sure the belt section is snug, and that it’s positioned properly. One of the ways to know this is by examining it. The hip joint should align with the trochanter, or the place where the ball and socket meet. It should generally be aligned at the side of your hip.
It’s not good to have your braces tilt in any way, so if they are, make sure to notify your orthotist. Since your orthotist most likely gave you that brace, they are the most qualified to help you understand the application of it. When you lie down, the circumference around your hips reduces. The application is going to vary, based on how you apply pressure.
I’m going to use a phrase here that might not sound exactly medical. It’ll make sense for you, hopefully. I’ve heard in the past that someone puts on their skinny jeans laying down. So, what does that mean in the case of hip braces? At the circumference around your trochanter around your hips and abdomen reduces when you lay down.
Many patients find it is easier to put on their races when they are laying down. Loosening the brace can cause tilt, and reduce the function.
You want it to be in position. If the brace is too loose in the thigh, it can actually be too high or too low in someone’s perineum. It can block some knee flexion at that point, which is hard if you’re sitting down in a chair, for example, so you really have to make sure that it’s positioned right on you.
The rest of this should have been done very early on by your orthotist. They should have
got the size as appropriate as possible for you, and all the screws should be tightened down But if there’s any issues with the screws, the tightness of the velcro, or if the velcro lost a little bit of its sticking power, you should tell your orthotist about it.
Another issue that happens is that the hip joint can feel tight on the hip. One of the biggest reasons why this happens is because someone just had a surgery for example, or they have a lot of gauze directly on their hip, and now we’re asking the person to get a hip abduction brace.The joint pivots inward toward the hip a little to bring the leg out. There’s only a certain amount of room in there, and if you have a lot of gauze in your brace, it may become bunched up, and uncomfortable to the patient.
If that’s the case, be sure to talk with your orthotist, and see if you can potentially use less gauze to help you. Another reason why people can struggle with hip abduction braces is that the pitch of A.B. duction, which means your leg is away from midline, can be too severe, and the person would be walking with their leg off to the side.
I find that anything above 15 degrees of A, B duction starts to become a problem because the person’s leg is really off to the side. And then also, the pitch of that joint is much closer to the hip joint and they might feel that tightness even more, in terms of the space in there, especially if there’s gauze involved, or bandages. Try to remember that this also causes skin issues.
Make sure your orthotist knows you’re wearing the braces snug, making sure it’s level and that the hip joint is in the right spot. Ask them to let you know where it should be positioned or tightened if you need to, and make sure it’s not sliding down on you. A lot of that has to do with tightness. So far, we’ve talked about tightening it while you’re laying down and monitoring your skin. Those are the big issues that come with these braces. Just try to remember that typically, these kinds of braces are just temporary.
Make sure that you don’t dislocate your hip, and you can discontinue the braces soon enough. It can be a task to wear them, but they can actually help you tremendously, and they can really help you from dislocating that movement where your leg might swing inward too far, and the hip joint pops out.