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back brace

lynettellynette Posts: 217
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I found out I will be fitted for a brace and was wondering what time frame you had to wear and instructions given for wearing Thanks Lynette


  • Hi Lynette,

    I had a 2 level ALIF in November and Dr. had me fitted for a semi-hard brace with velcro sides for adjusting. He said probably 3 months, just while I was "up and about", If I was in my recliner or sleeping I didn't have to wear it. I missed my 3 month check up due to a blizzard so I have to wait until this monday to see him. Hopefully he'll tell me I can have a bonfire or burial for my brace.

    I think it just depends on the surgeon and how big of a surgery you have. Best of luck, Lisa
  • Yes, I think it really depends on the surgeon and his reasons for giving the brace. But I imagine that two to three months is probably the norm...and you wear it when on your feet. Generally, you wear it any time you are not sleeping or reclining in bed. (My surgeon does not allow the use of recliners.) It is primarily designed as the "bending police." You wear it so that you are unable to get into the positions that are hard on your recent surgery...bending, twisting, slouching in chairs, sitting poorly at your computer, etc.

    In the past, prior to the use of hardware, braces served a real purpose, as it takes bone quite awhile to knit together properly. They helped support the spine while the patient was growing his/her own bone. But now we are held together with titanium and other space age materials so they are not necessary.

    I did not wear a brace for my first surgery. I have a different surgeon this time, and he has all his patients wear braces just as a reminder. I got mine early and am supposed to wear it every day for a little while just to get used to it. I now really understand how much difference it makes...because even when you are trying hard to "obey" all the rules, there are times when you are just overcome by the need to pick something up off the floor...and you figure just one time won't make a difference. Or you slouch in a chair even though you need to be sitting tall with your weight evenly distributed over your "sit bones." ETC. I really get it now!!

    Good luck.
  • Well that's a lie, but I have gotten more used to it. I've been in the rigid TLSO brace for 3 months. Come March, I get a check up and I (like Lisa) hope to be freed from the brace. As far as wearing schedule, I'm supposed to have it on when I'm up and about. Just short trips in the house I don't need it or when I'm in bed, shower or in the recliner. My surgeon said at the outset I'd be in it for 4 months and sure enough. Much as I have complained about the brace, I am sure it's helped me.

  • You put in on starting on the back and then pull the sides together tight and stick the velcro together. then it has a strip on the left that you pull over to the right and velcro then a final strip on the left that you pull over and velcro.

    It's not too uncomfortable. The back has a hard plate, but I have the option of removing it if it's bothering me too much.

    The good thing is that it's very slimming. From the sides and front, I look very svelt, as it pulls in my tummy and kind of pumps up my boobs. I wear my jeans with a t-shirt tucked in, put on my brace then put a shirt on over the brace so nobody sees it and they simply think I'm svelt.

  • I think yours is like the first one I had.The one I have now is only about 5-6 inches wide,and doesn't have the removable section-but it isn't any more comfortable!
  • my brace has the same effect when I put it on as yours has for your :-) especially since I haven't been able to work out for so long, I'm feeling lots of things but svelt isn't one that comes to mind! LOL Did you all have much swelling? This is my first fusion, but after both of my other surgeries I had so much swelling, each time weighing 10 lbs more on the day I left the hospital than the day of surgery. I'm worried my clothes won't fit. Maybe it's different after a fusion as I haven't heard anyone mention it....
  • With an incision on front and back I can't think about jeans for a while. I went and bought some extra yoga pants cuz I'm sure that's what I will be living in. I have a spine class when I go for my pre op march 1st at the surgeons office and I'm sure I'll learn more. Thanks for your input. Lynette
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    My profile picture is a picture of my LSO brace. They measured me and 2 days later it was ready. Then they told me to come back about a week after I was released from the hospital for any adjustments. I go in tomorrow and do need an adjustment. I have a back incision and a lateral horizontal incision at the hip and the brace is hitting that.

    I have to wear mine whenever I'm up for any period of time. I don't wear it to shower, go to the bathroom, or even when going to the kitchen to get a snack, But at all other times I do. I think he was guessing 2-4 months. I see the doctor again March 8th and I'll see what he thinks then.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • AZ, I still think you got about the coolest looking LSO (well, as cool as an orthotic can look). Mine's just white plastic with Biker stickers on it.

  • I just made a comment in another thread about jeans-yuk!I put them on several days ago to try---I wore them but left them undone---7 weeks post op anterior/posterior----I still can't stand anything touching my stomach or back----to answer about the swelling-My stomach was very swollen after this fusion---also the area above the back incisions was a bit swollen.Within about a week my stomach was about down to normal-I was told it was normal---and swelling around the incision is normal to a point---you will be able to tell if it is swollen due to infection----isn't this fun??????
  • I really like the cool purple brace. They better adjust it right the first time cuz I will be 3 hrs away!! As far as fashion goes at least the current top styles are long and loose so will cover the beast!! Can't wait for all the fun to begin! Lynette
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    As for fashion I ordered a bunch of inexpensive shirts and sweat pants as that's my sole wardrobe right now. I also had to go out and buy 2 packs of mens tank top undershirts for under the brace.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • i am also burning my brace when I'm done with it. I'm afraid not to use it,,for i will do something stupid. With it on it reminds you of what you can and can't do!!!!!
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