Putting on your Puma Una Brace
- Loosen the pull straps and place the Velcro hook straps in the home position (see illustration) on each belt. Then extend the back straps out as far as they will go.
- With the front panel attached to the left side of the belt, wrap the belt around your waist. Then hold the front panel against your abdomen and fasten the right belt with snug tension on top of the front panel.
- Position the brace so that the back of the brace is centered on your back and in its most comfortable vertical position and the front plate is centered.
- Tighten the belt straps to the highest compression you can comfortably tolerate, then touch them down anywhere on the belt.
- If your Puma Una brace has a chest plate (STEP) with over-the-shoulder straps, you can either slip the brace over your head while the straps are connected or, if that is too difficult, you can unbuckle one or both of the straps before you remove the Puma brace, then rebuckle the strap(s) after putting it on.
- If your Puma Una brace has round side pouches, they were attached by the orthotist and should fit comfortably on the side of your torso.
Taking off your Puma Una Brace
- Loosen the pull straps, placing the Velcro hook onto the home position at the side of the belt.
- Unfasten the brace in the front by pulling the right belt loose from the front panel.
- Lay the brace down in a safe place. Take care that the Velcro hook doesn’t touch knits or other fabrics as it could cause damage.
Tips for wearing your Puma Una Brace
We recommend wearing a cotton t-shirt under the brace. You may wear the brace directly on the skin but it’s far easier to throw a t-shirt in the hamper than to hand wash and air-dry the Puma brace.
If donning the Puma brace as we’ve suggested is difficult for you, an alternate method is to lay the brace flat on the bed, then lie down on top of it with the back plate in the correct position. It will be easier to fasten in the front this way for two reasons:
- No need to hold the brace in place against gravity.
- This supine position allows gravity to pull your soft tissue inward, making the straps easier to tighten.
Puma Una Care
- Remove the polymer plate from the front pocket and the lateral plates (if applicable) from their pouches.
- Separate the front panel from the belt itself.
- Pull the back pad off of the back plate (See image below).
- Unfasten the back plate by lifting the Velcro tabs shown in yellow and sliding them through the slots. (See image above).
- Hand wash the brace with mild soap and cool water.
- Dry flat between bath towels.
Before you remove the polymer plates from their pockets, make sure to note the “TOP OUTSIDE” text. If for some reason you cannot find it, mark the polymer in some way so that you know which side is which. (A silver Sharpie permanent marker works well for this purpose.) Replacing the polymer plates inside out or upside down will destroy the careful fit the orthotist has created. In the event a plate has lost its marking, here are some tips:
- The concave curve of the front plate should be toward the abdomen.
- The back plate is wider at the base. As to inside/outside, simply match the contours of it with the curve of the spine.
- If your Puma brace has lateral panels, their concave curve should be facing the torso.
Reassembling your Puma Una
- Lay the belt out on a clean, dry, flat surface.
- Take the back polymer plate and lay it down over the back straps of the belt (Velcro side up).
- Slide the Velcro loop tabs through the curved slots and press them down on the Velcro hook coins. Note: Do not pull them too tight. The end of the loop tab should meet the edge of the hook coin.
- Replace the back pad on the back polymer plate.
- Replace the anterior plate in the front panel of the belt so that it will lie comfortably over your abdomen. Attach the lateral pouches to the side of the belt (if applicable).
- Reattach the front panel to the left side of the belt.