Hi All – has anyone had experience of being fitted with a back brace to stabilise their spine? I’m going to Stanmore on Monday to get measured up for one. Any tips on managing with a brace would be appreciated. Also, I’m wondering if I will be able to drive?
I was fitted with a back brace at Stanmore in 2018 . I had been diagnosed with a plasmacytoma in a vertebrae and then a couple of small lesions were discovered in my sternum and clavicle.
They’re a great team there but I have to be honest I was very upset to find that I needed to wear such a thing! If you are having the same kind I did you are wrapped in bandages and plaster to form the mould and then choose a colour/pattern to have it made in! Dont be afraid to speak up if you feel distressed or anxious. The original design for mine came right up to my chin and I just said “No I cannot wear this!”They were able to make a few changes and it ended up more of a corset shape.
I wouldn’t say it was an easy few months and it took quite a while for me to get used to it.
The very good news is that it worked! I have no pain in my back at all. New bone has grown to “fill the gap” so to speak and I have forgotten all about it now.
Just count down the days and in the end the great day comes when you get to chuck it in the dustbin!
I wish you all the very best for tomorrow and the coming weeks.
One tip is to get some long handled grippers for picking things up off the floor!!
Do you know which type of brace you are having? I was diagnosed back in 2016 and was close to suffering spinal chord compression so they put me in a brace to keep the spine straight and to enable the vertebrae to fuse together, I was in the brace for a year all told
I can give you more background etc if it sounds like my brace would be similar to yours but if it is more like Sue’s than my experience would be useless, my brace was more like a corset that was wrapped round me and fixed with velcro
Thanks for the replies. Just got home after a visit to Stanmore for a brace casting. I saw a consultant too. It looks like I’m getting a brace to support the lower back as I have a fracture at T9. It sounds more like yours Paul than Sue’s. I will have to wear it for 12 weeks. I’d appreciate any tips for managing it! Especially when it’s hot.
Hi Paul – my fracture is at T9. The cast is taken simply so the hospital can make a brace that fits. It will be made from plastic with adjustable straps. So sounds like the same thing. How did you get on?
My back brace is like a velcro corset too. I’ve got an aged fracture on my T8 and one a lower vertabrae but I’ve lost my T7 and shrunk 1 1/2 inches. I couldn’t afford to loose anymore inches, I was only 5′ 3 1/2″ to begin with (haha).
I haven’t been given a length of time for me wearing my brace, I’ve had it since August last year. I just put it on, especially if going out.
Sue, mine is washable, but obviously take the rods out, with mega shots of fabric softner. I let it drip dry. All’s good when I put it back on.
Good lick with everything.
Sounds like it is the same, funny that I didn’t have a cast though, happily I can say that you do get more used to it, I’m afraid that it can be quite uncomfortable in the heat though as the plastic traps the heat and you sweat quite a bit.
I was able to drive and do most things with no issues at all, putting socks on required some twisting and doing my shoes up could be a royal pain, I learnt to bend at the knees for most things.
I would try to get hold of some fairly thin tops to wear underneath the brace when it is hot to keep the heat down
Hi Paul – thanks for the tips! Does sound v similar. I’ve ordered some slip on shoes as I’m currently relying on others to do up my shoelaces! I’m cheating a little bit by putting on my socks before the brace. I can get to the floor if I really need to but it’s awkward but hopefully it will all get easier.
Hi Marie – I’m doing ok thanks but for me there is an end in site. I’ve been told to wear the brace for 12 weeks which feels manageable. I’ve already done 2 weeks. 10 to go. It’s frustrating though. I can’t do a lot around the house as my movement is so restricted but luckily I’ve got a family to help. I’ve had to adapt, for example I’ve bought a poop scoop so I can still walk the dog! And I’m losing weight (not height!) I feel fuller sooner as a result of wearing the brace. It must be very difficult for you not knowing if / when you can remove yours. I’m 5’1” by the way so already v short so I can understand why you can afford to lose anymore height! Rosie
Hi Marie – I’m doing ok thanks but for me there is an end in sight. I’ve been told to wear the brace for 12 weeks which feels manageable. I’ve already done 2 weeks. 10 to go. It’s frustrating though. I can’t do a lot around the house as my movement is so restricted but luckily I’ve got a family to help. I’ve had to adapt, for example I’ve bought a poop scoop so I can still walk the dog! And I’m losing weight (not height!) I feel fuller sooner as a result of wearing the brace. It must be very difficult for you not knowing if / when you can remove yours. I’m 5’1” by the way so already v short so I can understand why you can afford to lose anymore height! Rosie