Behind In The Groove Brace
name is Alice M. Brown, RPh., Pharm D., FMPA and I am the inventor and
designer of this knee brace-here is my story. I was in a terrible head-on
car accident on my way to work one day. The Jaws of Life were required
to extricate me. Safety belts and driver air bags saved my life. I suffered
multiple injuries to my hands, arms, knees, right foot, face and back.
I had multiple surgeries on my hand and right foot including right foot
reconstruction. I was in a wheelchair for over 16 months. I had multiple
courses of physical therapy, and had to relearn to walk five times in
the first two years after the accident.
I wanted to get my life back
and to lose the weight I gained while in a wheelchair, so I started
working on the treadmill, five minutes a day to 2 mph. Doing so, I injured
my good knee on my good leg. Thinking that the
pain was just something I had to work through, I continued the routine
for three days. When I was barely able to walk, due to the knee pain,
and was back in the wheelchair, I stopped the treadmill exercise program.
I saw my orthopedic physician. He suggested that I rest the knee for
four to six weeks. When this did not help, he ordered knee
MRI. The MRI revealed that I had fluid on the knee and arthritis and
a 0.5 cm opacificed density in the knee joint. Subsequent knee arthroscopy
also revealed a damaged (shredded) medial meniscus, Chondromalacia
and a Bakers Cyst. Following arthroscopic surgery, I did very
well for two weeks. Then knee joint became swollen again. I again ended
up in the wheelchair. My orthopedic physician recommended that I try
physical therapy again and if that was not successful, I would need
a knee replacement surgery.
At physical therapy I was
evaluated and given exercises. One exercise totally relieved my pain
and allowed me to use my knee again. The exercise that gave me relief
involved having the physical therapist, Mel Svorinic, putting one hand
above my knee on the lateral thigh and one hand below my knee on the
medial leg and then gently pressing with each hand toward the center
of the leg while I flexed and extended the leg. This is known as the
Mulligan mobilization with movement (MWM) glide. (If this hand position
does not work, the hand positions are reversed.)
The next day of physical
therapy when I walked into Physical Therapy with minimal pain, Mel asked
what I had done . The first day I could barely walk into the physical
therapy department and now I was able to walk without a lot of pain.
I told him that since he would not come home with me, I did the next
best thing I made a brace to do what he did. I purchased several
knee braces, took out the metal stays from a carpal tunnel brace I had,
and made a knee brace. My skills as a home seamstress, farrier (with
limited metal working skills), and a pilot (with 3 dimensional visualization
skills) combined with my intimate knowledge of medicine and bracing
as a pharmacist who was trained in a brace fitting and as a brace user
(with a box full of various hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle
and full leg braces along with canes, crutches, walkers, my wheelchair
and electric scooter) all came together and made this possible.
Mel was very impressed with
my brace. He told me that he had never seen anything like it and that
I should have it patented.
I was just glad that it worked
and I could walk again with minimal pain in the good leg.
My husband and I did a patent search we were unable to find anything
else like this brace and subsequently consulted a lawyer about patenting
it. The lawyer had an independent patent search done and also found
nothing like this brace.
What makes this brace unique
is its wrap around design, use of stays to help to restore normal
alignment of the knee, and allowing the knee cap to move normally. The
small opposing force is enough to help align the thigh and the lower
leg. Once proper structure is restored, new damage to the knee is stopped
or slowed, pain is relieved and the muscles of the leg are trained to
work to maintain this better functional alignment JUST BY WEARING THE
BRACE. this is an exercise that most people, including
me, will do.
Hopefully, someone else can
benefit from my disability, my efforts to minimize my disability, to
maximize my function, to relieve my pain and to ultimately improve my
I will probably still need
the knee replacement surgery, and am in physical therapy for reoccurrences,
but for now I am mobile, have much less pain, have improved my quality
of life and continue to make the best of my abilities.
This brace was designed
by a pharmacist who has training as an orthotic fitter, a provider
of durable medical equipment, a caregiver and first hand knowledge.
She is disabled resulting from injuries sustained in a head-on
motor vehicle accident. The Jaws of life were required to extricate
her from her car. She sustained severe injuries to her foot, ankle,
knees, hands, arms, shoulder, face and low back .
Prior to her motor
vehicle accident, she was also a home seamstress, a Farrier, with
limited metal working skills, and a pilot, with three-dimensional
thinking. She was in a wheel of chair for 16 months and had worked
very hard regain her mobility, including having to relearn to
walk five times the first two years after the accident. Unfortunately
she still has to use an electric scooter or wheel chair for extended
distances. She is committed to helping others to help themselves
to regain mobility and improve their quality of life.
Brown-Inventor and Designer, RPh, PharmD, FMPA
In The Groove LLc
P.O. Box 6056
Fax: 1 (517) 781-6051
Get In The Groove To
Keep on the Move