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Brace: tips for using a brace successfully


junior member
Jul 6, 2010
United States
There are a variety of types of hip braces. Here are three examples;

Medi Hip Arthosis

Most people don't have to use a brace, but that means there's not as much info out there about them (I had looked before my surgery, but didn't really find anything). So, thought I'd pass on some things I learned about having a brace, now that I finally got rid of mine :)

1. clothes need to be large enough to go over the brace

Baggy elasticated clothes are the most convenient. I already had a few loose, elastic-waist skirts that fit the bill. If I wanted to wear trousers, I would have had to buy some in bigger sizes to fit over the brace. Your undies also have to go on over the brace, I got some men's boxer shorts a few sizes too big, which worked fine.

2. washing and drying the brace pads

My brace had detachable cloth pads around the waist and around the thigh. Washing them had to be done once I was in bed, as that was the only time I was allowed to take the brace off. They were often not 100% dry in the morning, until we thought to leave a fan blowing on them overnight, which worked well. Even so, it was still a pain if I needed to get up in the middle of the night. You can wear the brace without the pads, but it doesn't work as well, and it's much less comfortable. Having a second set of pads would have been really useful, I wish I had thought to ask if I could get some more.

3. you are now wider than you were :)

This may not be a problem for you if you are skinny, but if you have hips, watch out :)

I nearly went home from the hospital with a commode that I wouldn't have been able to fit into! They ended up getting a drop-arm commode for me, which allowed me to sit comfortably. You fold down the arm on your operated side, which still gives you an arm to lean on for getting up and down, but you have as much room as you need on the other side.

I also didn't really fit inside the walker with the brace on (I fit fine now without it). I ended up just putting up with it, but in retrospect, having a wider walker might have been a good idea (as long as it still fit through the narrow doors in my house). At the hospital they wouldn't give me a bariatric walker, as my insurance wouldn't cover it as I'm not that much overweight. They also said it shouldn't matter much, as you're not supposed to stand fully inside the walker anyway, which might be true for walking, but it would have been handy for supporting myself while standing up at the sink, etc.

Anyway, if you notice you can't stand inside the regular walker, and if health insurance isn't an issue, or you don't mind paying out of pocket, you might want to see if you can at least try them both out, and see what works best.

-- Louise


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