Objective: To determine the effect of a brace or harness on loads on internal spinal fixation devices.
Design: The implant loads were measured in vivo using telemeterized internal spinal fixators.
Background: Only limited information exists regarding the load reduction due to a brace or harness.
Methods: A Boston overlap brace, a reclination brace, and a lumbotrain harness were examined to determine how they affect the loads on internal spinal fixation devices. The implant loads were measured using telemeterized fixators in six patients for several positions and activities, including sitting, standing, walking, bending forward, and lifting an extended leg in a supine position.
Results: None of the braces studied were able to markedly reduce the loads on the fixators. Frequently even higher fixator loads were measured when wearing a brace or harness.
Conclusions: It does not seem helpful to brace patients after mono- or bisegmental stabilization of the lumbar spine.