It is very important to prevent skin breakdown − sore, red, raw skin. The skin under the brace needs to be toughened up, especially where the brace presses hard.
To protect the skin:
- Bathe daily (bath or shower)
- Apply rubbing alcohol with friction to all parts of the skin that are pink and the areas where the brace presses a lot
- Always wear a 100 percent cotton (not blended cotton or synthetic material) undershirt, tubular knit without side seams
- Frequently check the skin for pink areas when the brace is first used
Do not use cream, lotion or powder under the brace.
If there is skin breakdown (sore, red, raw skin) the brace must not be reapplied until the skin heals – one day or more. Sometimes the skin over the waist and hips get darker. That is common and is not a problem. When the brace treatment is over, this color will go away.
Cleaning the Brace
The hard plastic outer shell and the inner soft foam plastic should be cleaned every time you bathe.
A cloth with soap and water can be used to clean the lining, followed by a damp rinsing cloth. A terry towel can help dry the foam plastic. If the lining is damp, a very cool hair dryer can be used. The outer plastic can tolerate rough cleaning.
The plastic brace should not be left in the hot sun or near a warm radiator because the plastic may soften and get out of shape.
As a rule, loose fitting clothes will not reveal the outline of your child's brace. Pants usually need to be one size larger when worn over the brace. Pants with elastic waistbands may fit more easily.
If your physician recommends specific exercises, he / she will order a referral to physical therapy.
Call Your Child's Doctor If:
- Numbness, stinging or burning places occur under the brace
- A different, foul (bad) smell comes from the brace
- Pain occurs that is steady or increases, and is not relieved by medicine or a change in position
- The brace cracks
- When a problem occurs that prevents your child from wearing the brace for the amount of time recommended by your doctor
If you need to reach the orthopaedic nurse between 8 am-4 pm Monday through Friday, call 513-636-4567. After 4 pm and during weekends and holidays, call 513-636-4200 and ask for the orthopaedic resident on call.