Control of separation in sternal instability by supportive devices: a comparison of an adjustable fastening brace, compression garment, and sports tape.

El-Ansary D, Waddington G, Adams R.

Support from sports tape, a compression garment, and an adjustable fastening brace was assessed by an ultrasound-based measure of sternal separation contingent on movement and by self-report measures of comfort, pain, feeling of support, ease of upper-limb movement, and ease of breathing in 15 patients with sternal instability after a median sternotomy.

The results showed that for both sternal separation and self-report data, some support was better than no support, a supportive device worn on the body was better than sports tape, and wearing an adjustable fastening brace was better than a compression garment. The effects of wearing the different supportive devices on visual analog scale ratings of comfort, pain, support, ease of breathing, and movement mirrored the results obtained for sternal separation.

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2008;89(9):1775-81

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