Question: What type of brace would you recommend for a post-polio patient with poor strength in the thigh muscles? We are in New Hampshire, USA.
Answer: As for your patient, I am going to break down my remarks into two sections, depending on some of the characteristics of your patient. Since your email said your patient had muscle weakness in the thigh, I am assuming you mean quadriceps, and perhaps hamstring weakness, but suspect your patient may also have some weakness of hip muscles and possibly even of some muscles in the lower leg.
Post-Polio Health, Volume 27, Number 4, Fall 2011
Ask Dr. Maynard
Frederick M. Maynard, MD
Carol Vandenakker, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
University of California, Davis, Health System
Presented at PHI’s 9th International Conference: Strategies for Living Well (June 2005)
A. You must start with a good primary care physician.
1. Keys to finding a good doctor:
a. Look for a physician you trust and can communicate with.
My most shocking revelation was that I really did have a disability. That didn’t happen for almost forty years after I had polio. At age 46 I started working at Kaiser and my supervisor asked me, “Grace, do you consider yourself disabled?” It was the height of affirmative-action consciousness and he needed to identify minority members of his department. But the question felt like a slap in the face. Why would he ask that? I thought about it and finally said, “I guess I am.”
BABY, IT IS COLD OUTSIDE!
William G. Stothers
Snow and bone-chilling cold are making this a brutal winter across North America. And Phil the groundhog says it will go on for another six weeks.
Bad news for people stuck in this kind of weather, especially polio survivors. We know the snow-choked wheelchair wheels, snow-banked sidewalks and curb cuts, melting messes indoors, and that piercing wind chill.
Tamara Treanore, CO, ABC
Daniel M. Ryan, MD
Brace maintenance and care will improve the function, extend the life and improve the comfort of the brace. The following guidelines are provided for your use. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Along with wheelchairs, nothing conjures up as much anxiety as the idea of having to use new—or long-ago discarded—splints, braces, canes or crutches. Using supportive devices may seem like sending a beacon to the world that we are disabled. After years of functioning without obvious aids, it seems like stepping backwards.
Irwin M. Siegel, MD
Patients with post-polio weakness can often benefit by using an appropriate brace.
Orthotics is the use of braces and splints (orthoses) to biomechanically assist in supporting and stabilizing parts of the body affected by paralyzed and/or weak muscles (Bunch, 1985).