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Eartha' Story

In July of 1996, Eartha Wright, along with her family, attended a community fair. On the way back to the car, Eartha stumbled on a cement parking block and landed on her left elbow, causing a radial head fracture. She then had a closed reduction and was put in a fracture brace for four weeks, leaving her with only 45° of extension in her elbow and a complete lack of supination.

A full two months of occupational therapy followed and even though Eartha was very diligent in keeping all Eartha after treatment with Ultraflex appointments with Bill (the OT), little progress was made on increasing ROM. "Aggressive therapy didn't work... three times a week wasn't enough", says Eartha. "The time he (OT) put into it, would never have been enough". Bill then decided that Eartha would be a good candidate for Ultraflex therapy and referred Eartha to Frank Caruso, CO., who had extensive experience with Ultraflex® custom orthoses.

On February 19, 1997, Frank fitted Eartha with a left Ultraflex® custom- molded bi-directional EO with SupronationTM. Initial elbow extension was -15° passive extension & -40° active extension and supination at about -7O° PROM & AROM. Frank Caruso had Eartha wear the Ultraflex® 8 hours/day with tension setting at "2".

Demonstrating Range of Motion Her two week follow-up on march 5, 1997, showed good progress. Measurements taken showed -7° ext. PROM (a gain of 8°), ext. AROM at -15° (a gain of 25°) and supination at -5O°. At this time, Frank Caruso decided to increase tension to "2.5".

Eartha continued her 8 hr./day regimen.

Eartha in her Ultraflex brace March 26, 1997, Eartha returned to Frank's office complaining of pain at the elbow and only was able to wear the Ultraflex® for 6 hours per day. Extension ROM was measured at -6° Frank then backed the tension down to "2", but increased the wearing time to 8-10 hours per day. This enabled Eartha to be totally compliant. "The tension was perfect, it was working without changing it!" she said.

Final follow-up on May 1, 1997 showed Eartha attaining both PROM & AROM of elbow extension at -4° a gain of 11° passively and 36° actively. Supination increased to -10° passively and actively for a 60 degree increase in active function.

"Eartha's case clearly shows Ultraflex® gives you the ability to adjust treatment to effect and maintain positive ROM," says Frank Caruso. "Her case further validates the fact that time, duration of use and low load stretch are the factors that directly increase ROM and limb function. This was evident in the fact that at a "2" tension setting, Eartha could wear her Ultraflex® for 8 hours pain free, but when I increased it to "2.5", she could only wear it for 6 hours with increased pain."

Although it was a long and sometimes painful recovery for her arm, Eartha reports being able to do all the things she was doing previous to her accident.

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