Discharge Instructions: Using a Jewett Brace
Your doctor has prescribed a Jewett brace for you. This back brace keeps your back in position while it is healing after surgery or injury. Wear your brace as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will tell you how often and for how long you should wear the brace each day.
Here's what you need to know about home care.
Arrange your household to keep the items you need handy. Keep everything else out of the way.
Keep your hands free by using a fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things.
Use a cane, crutches, walker, hand rails, or someone to help you until you have improved your balance, flexibility, and strength.
Remember, the brace will limit your ability to move in certain directions. You will not be able to sit in some types of chairs.
Don’t bend or twist at the waist, or raise your hands over your head.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 4 pounds for the first 2 weeks after your injury or surgery.
Wear a T-shirt under the brace to protect your skin and absorb sweat.
Check for skin irritation and reddened areas after wearing the brace. You may need to have your brace adjusted, or you may need a different size.
Applying the brace
Apply the brace the way you were shown in the hospital. Remember: You will need help to properly apply the brace.
Move to one side of the bed by using your arms and legs to move your hips over, or by having a helper pull the sheet under you over to one side. Don’t twist or move your back. Keep it straight.
Roll onto your side away from the edge of the bed. Try to keep your back straight. Roll like a log.
Have your helper position the front half of the brace while you are lying on your side. The upper pad should be across your breastbone and the lower pad across the front of your stomach.
Position the back of your brace. Have your helper hold the brace in place while you log-roll onto your back.
Attach the front and back of the brace. Pull the brace shut and tighten it with the key.
Make sure the brace is aligned before you try to stand.
Drop your legs over the side of the bed and push yourself up to a sitting position. Then slowly raise yourself to stand.
Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as directed.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
Sudden or increased shortness of breath
Sudden chest pain or localized chest pain with coughing
Fever above 100.4°F (38°C) or shaking chills
Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling at the incision site
Drainage from the incision
Opening of the incision
Increasing pain with or without activity
March 21, 2017
Developing a Standard of Care for Halo Vest and Pin Site Care Including Patient and Family Education. Sarro, A. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. 2010;42(3):s169-73.