DonJoy introduces long awaited single-upright OA brace
The recurrent brace migration and rotation problems associated with single upright brace technology are well documented, which is why DonJoy has not, until now, introduced on the market.
However, an increase in demand from patients suffering from mild to moderate unicompartmental knee OA and looking for more practical bracing options to keep them active, combined with favourable recommendations from OARSI for off-loader braces, convinced DonJoy’s engineers to go back to the drawing board.
The result is the innovative, technically-advanced, patient-ready OA Assist, DonJoy’s first ever single upright brace, which combines a single upright frame, for improved patient comfort, and a new disconnecting thigh/tibia hinge (3DF hinge) to minimize brace rotation.
The revolutionary new feature of this brace is the ‘3rd Degree of Freedom’ or 3DF Hinge: a unique, patented hinge design placed between the calf cuff and the polycentric hinge for greater comfort and optimal fit. The 3DF hinge automatically rotates ±11° from the neutral position, allowing the brace to match the natural movement of the knee and reducing the moment which causes the rotation of the brace around the knee. The 3DF hinge doesn’t interfere with the well established 3-point loading system that off-loads the affected knee compartment.
Telescoping condyle pads enable patients to adjust the load (up to 6° of correction) according to their activity level and degree of pain. The brace also features extra comfortable contoured cuff shells, swivelling quick release buckles for easy application and removal, and Sili-Grip strap pads and liners.
Available in seven sizes, the low profile OA Assist is made from lightweight aircraft grade aluminium and weighs less than 0.5kg. The brace is ideally suited for patients suffering from early onset of unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis (without ligament instabilities) who want to continue to enjoy their everyday and leisure activities such as walking, golf and other non contact sports.
The biomechanical behaviour of the new OA Assist has been preliminarily tested at the “Movement Analysis Laboratory” at University of Central Lancashire (Preston, UK). Comparative testing has shown that the new OA Assist is able to produce similar offloading moments to that of two double upright OA braces: OA Adjuster & OA Everyday. The efficiency of the new 3DF hinge in reducing brace migration has also been investigated in a comparative study with a competitor single upright brace. The action of the 3DF hinge (tibial torsion hinge) in the tibial pad of the OA Assist was shown to allow the brace to track nearly perfectly with the tibial torsion seen during a squat task. The competitor single upright brace, however, showed a large amount of relative movement between the tibia and the tibial pad of the brace which is likely to cause torsional brace migration leading to an incorrect functioning of the brace.
For more information on DonJoy’s range of OA braces, click here.