Puma Fitter’s Guide

Puma MP, Puma SP & Puma SL

The Puma spinal brace may be dispensed as an off-the-shelf brace (OTS) or it may be custom fitted to meet a patient’s specialized needs. If the former, the patient should read the “Patient Care and Use Information.” If the latter, the Custom Fitting Adjustments below describe the steps to proper brace fitting that should be performed by a medical professional with appropriate expertise.

Putting on the Puma Brace

  1. Loosen the right and left straps and extend the back belt gap fully.
  2. Holding the left belt against the patient’s abdomen, have your patient fasten the right belt snugly onto the left belt.
  3. Position the brace so that the back of the brace is centered on the patient’s back and the brace’s lumbar curve fits the small of the patient’s back.
  4. Ask the patient to pull both straps simultaneously to a comfortable tension. If the straps overlap, the right strap should be on top, but it’s best if both straps attach directly to the belt. The straps are designed to work together, so if the patient tightens only one, the other will be loose.
  5. If the Puma brace you’re fitting has a chest plate (STEP) with shoulder straps, the patient can either put the brace on like a shirt, slipping their arms through the straps, or they can loosen one of the straps to take off the Puma brace, then re-tighten that strap after putting it back on.
  6. If the Puma brace you’re fitting has lateral pouches, they should be centered on the sides of your patient’s body.

Custom Fitting Adjustments to the Puma Brace

Trimming – The tri-laminate fabric of the body of the Puma brace may be trimmed to remove portions that cause discomfort or restrict movement.

Bending – The plates may be bent slightly to accommodate an unusual abdominal shape. If more than a slight contour is necessary, you may need to apply heat to the plate in order to remold it.

Re-molding – The Kydex plates were molded during brace fabrication. The anterior plate may need to be heated and re-molded for a specialized fit—for example, to accommodate the roundness of a pendulous abdomen. More frequently, the lordosis or kyphosis of the posterior plate may need to be modified to accommodate the patient’s spine. To do this, use a heat gun to warm the portion of the plate to be remolded. Use gloves to avoid burning your hands. Use caution not to overheat the plates or they may lose their original molded shape. While the material is malleable, contour the plate to the desired shape. Hold the remolded position until the plate cools, then re-attach or re-insert it. The lateral plates, if your Puma brace contains them, may also need to be similarly modified. The engraved text will help you reorient the plates correctly.

Customizing – Any specialized customization needed, such as cutting an opening for a stoma, relieving impinged areas of the spine, adding peroneal straps, or installing a STEP (Sternal Thoracic Extension Plate), should be completed at this time.

When the fitting of the Puma brace is concluded, hand the patient the “Patient Care and Use Information” included with their Puma brace.

To download the Puma Fitter’s Guide Click Here.