Orthosis or Bandage? Which is better for you?

„Give your body as much passive support as possible, but not more than is needed."

Orthosis

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Effects of orthosis

  • Stabilization
  • Biomechanics
  • Proprioception (sensitivity providing informations about the position and movement)

Indications for orthosis usage

  • Condition requiring weight relief on the affected joint (degenerative disorder of the cartilage - osteoarthrosis, avascular necrosis)
  • Condition after surgery (up to one year)
  • Chronic instability of the joints
  • Correction of joint deformity

Types of orthosis

Orthosis for complete immobilization


Function: immobilisation of the join
  • Used mostly after surgeries or injuries with a goal to secure healing of a bony or soft tissue
  • They can replace gypsum cast for a joint fixation

Examples:

  • Sprained ankle (in such case the healing of the soft tissues - ligaments - lasts approx. 6 weeks, therefore the ankle should be immobilized for at least 3 weeks and avoiding stepping on the affected foot).
  • Fracture of the collarbone (immobilization is applied with Delbet’s brace for 2-3 weeks)
  • Acute vertebral algic syndrome (VAS) of the cervical spine (cervical collar for 3-5 weeks)
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Corrective orthosis


Function: correction of joint deformities

Examples:

  • Poliomyelitis (positioning the joints after surgery or against progression of the deformation)
  • Scoliosis (scoliosis brace/torso orthosis restricting the progression of the scoliotic curve)
  • Deflected toe (wearing silicone separator between the toes for during the day or night)
  • Axial deflection of the knee joints (the legs are in an “X” shape or “O” shape)
  • Condition after stroke (ankle joints - support of the dorsal flexion for the foot in order to make walking possible)
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Neutral orthosis


Function: fixing the joint in a neutral position

Examples:

  • Side instability affecting the knee or ankle joints (elastic orthosis with firm cushioning on the sides, preventing joint from jamming sideways)
  • Syndrome of the carpal tunnel (night orthosis for adjusting the wrist in a neutral position, excluding sideways movement which irritates the affected nerve)

Proprioceptive orthosis


Funkce: improved stability without restricted functionality and range of the joint movement

  • Formed by a silicone net without any solid particles
  • Orthosis for knee


Example:

  • Healed condition after plastic surgery of the anterior cruciate ligament, meniscectomy or attachment pain.

Bandage

Effects of the bandages

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  • Compression
  • Proprioceptive (sensitivity providing informations about the position and movement)

Indication for bandage application


  • Attachment pain (tennis elbow, jumpers knee, pain in the Achilles tendon)
  • Light injuries of the joint
  • Light instabilities of the joints
  • Chondropathy of the knee joint patella
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Types of bandages

Elastic bandage and flexible joint band

  • The fixation of the joint is not significant, however they can lower the pain thanks to the stimulation of the skin mechanoreceptors and lower the transmission of the painful signals
  • Increased proprioception leads to improved stability of the joint

Epicondylar bandage

  • Use: tennis elbow or javelin thrower’s elbow
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Patellar bandage

  • Patellar chondropathy, arthrosis of the knee joint

Physicool

  • Compression bandage, which you can fill with cooling solution; the goal is to lower the swelling and pain in the joint after e.g. injury, surgery or physical exertion and accelerate healing process

We recommend you to perform stabilizing exercises for the joints. In the link below you can choose which joint you need to stabilize.

Exercises can be found HERE.


Author: FYZIOklinika fyzioterapie Ltd, Prague, Czech Republic
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