A thoracolumbosacral or lumbosacral orthosis (TLSO/LSO) is a corset-style brace, designed to restrict the movement of the torso. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, from compression fractures to laminectomies, and is usually prescribed for use after surgery. A TLSO is taller than an LSO in height in order to treat higher level fractures, surgical repairs, etc.
The following instructions were designed to help you properly clean, care for, and use your new orthosis. Please read these instructions carefully and let your orthotist know if you have any questions. Compliance with your health care providers’ instructions is essential for the effective use of this device. Be sure to follow any special instructions given to you by your physician or orthotist, in addition to those provided here.
Applying Your Brace
The following instructions describe how to apply your new brace.
- Before applying your brace, put on a tight-fitting t-shirt. Your orthotist may have provided you with a special t-shirt to wear. The right shirt will be tight enough that it does not wrinkle under your TLSO.
- While lying on your back, roll to your side and slide the brace around your back. Line the waist pads up with your waist. Roll back over onto your back. You may need to reposition the brace again if it moved when you rolled back. If so, make sure the waist pads are in the correct area.
- Put on the front part of your brace so that it lines up with the back portion. Some braces will have the front piece fit over the back piece. Check to make sure you have applied it correctly. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the padding on the front matches the padding on the back. If the padding touches the plastic, you probably have it on incorrectly.
- Secure the Velcro straps, starting with the middle strap first. Your orthotist may have marked the Velcro straps for you. Make sure the straps are secured to these marks. If your abdomen is swollen, these marks may need to be adjusted as your volume changes.
Your orthosis may also be applied while standing, but you will need assistance in securing the straps tightly.
Suggested Wearing Schedule
Wear your TLSO/LSO as directed by your doctor. Your orthotist should have a copy of your doctor’s wearing schedule to review with you.
Each time you remove the brace, check your skin for irritation. (You made need someone to help you with this task, or you can use a mirror to inspect your back.) It is normal to have red or pink area over your hip bones where your orthosis is secured. However, if there are red areas or other marks that don’t go away within 15 to 30 minutes, stop using your orthosis and call your orthotist right away.
Gradually increase the wearing time throughout the week, until you are able to tolerate the brace without discomfort all day.
Check your brace periodically to make sure the brace is fitting snugly, and that it is correctly aligned.
Care of Your Skin and Brace
Good hygiene is important to protect your skin from irritation. Wash your skin with mild soap and warm water daily. Avoid using moisturizers.
Use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to wipe down the hard plastic outer shell of your brace each day. Make sure the brace is completely dry before reapplying it.
Potential Risks & Precautions
You may experience changes in weight and abdominal volume that affect the fit of your brace. If this happens, contact our office and we will schedule an appointment to adjust your brace.
Never operate a motor vehicle or heavy machinery while wearing this brace. The TLSO may restrict your vision, mobility, and reaction times.
Never attempt to adjust, repair, or otherwise modify your TLSO. The components of this device have been carefully chosen, assembled, adjusted, and secured according to your physician’s prescription and the manufacturers’ specifications. In order to maintain the safety and effectiveness of your device, adjustments may only be made by a qualified medical professional.
For medical emergencies, call 911 or your local hospital.