Custom LSO (Spinal Brace)
A spinal brace is custom made to fit the patient’s torso. If they had a traumatic injury, they may notice that their abdomen has swelled from the medications and fluids they’ve been given. This will slowly decrease and affect the way the TLSO fits.
Applying a Spinal Brace: When first learning to apply the brace, having an assistant help is recommended.
- The patient will wear a tight fitting T-shirt. An Orthotist may have provided a special T-Shirt to wear. If not, apply a hospital gown or tight shirt that will not wrinkle under the LSO.
- While the patient is lying on their back, they will roll to their side and slide the brace around their back. Line up the waist pads on the brace with the patient’s waist. Then roll the patient onto their back. They may need to reposition the LSO brace again as it may have moved when they rolled back. If so, make sure the waist pads are again in the correct area.
- Once the brace is centered on the body, secure the Velcro straps, starting with the middle strap first. The Orthotist may have already marked the Velcro straps. Make sure the straps are secured to these marks. If the patient’s abdomen is swollen, these marks may need to be adjusted as their volume changes.
- The patient is now ready to roll to their side and stand up as the therapist has instructed.
Method 2: A physician must indicate that the patient’s back is stable enough to stand for method two
- Standing up, apply the LSO around the patient’s back. Line up the waist pads in the brace to match their waist. The patient should then stand against a wall or door to hold the back section while they secure the Velcro straps.
- Secure the straps to the marks indicated. During this process it is important to keep as straight as possible to insure the spine is aligned correctly. Standing in front of a mirror is helpful.
Care and MaintenanceWash the brace as needed with soap and water. Soap used to bathe with will work fine. In the sink, apply soap and water, and use a washcloth to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the brace. Rinse the brace with water in the shower. Towel dry. Do not use a hair dryer.
Care of SkinWearing a tight fitting spinal brace will result in redness to skin. Redness should only last for a minimum of 20 minutes after the brace is removed. If redness persists longer than 20 minutes, either contact an Orthotist for assistance, or apply rubbing alcohol over the reddened areas. Rubbing alcohol will toughen skin. Also make sure that the brace is applied correctly, and that t-shirt worn underneath has no wrinkles.
Wearing ScheduleDepending on the extent of the patient’s injury or surgery, they may be advised by a physician to wear the brace 23 hours per day, removing it only for bathing. Otherwise, the patient may be advised only to wear it during nonsleep hours.
Troubleshooting problems with the LSO Brace
A common problem is that the brace will migrate up the patient’s body when they are lying in bed. Two things cause this:
- The body has changed in shape, (lost volume due to medications, post injury swelling, or even excessive weight loss).
Solution: Tighten the straps, or contact an Orthotist to make adjustments. Additional padding may need to be applied to the inside of the brace.
- The straps are not tightened to the proper marks, or they are placing the brace in the wrong location on your body.
Solution: apply the brace lying down and tighten to the marks on the straps. If the straps can tighten past the marks, go ahead as long as it is comfortable. Make sure the brace is placed correctly on the patient’s waist before tightening and locking it into place.