FLORIDA: The number of people suffering from ‘deep functional structural defects” in the back of their knees has risen to more than 30,000, with doctors warning that this is not an isolated incident.
The state’s National Orthopaedic Society (NOS) is urging the Government to consider introducing tougher restrictions on the use of bracelets, bracelets that can be inserted into the knee joint.
The association has written to the Minister for Health asking him to impose tougher restrictions and also to introduce a limit on the number of bracelet holders a person can use in a day.
The NOS said that a person with a bracelet would not be able to stand, walk, stand up or sit down without the bracelet.
“This poses a significant risk to patients, and we are concerned about the rising number of cases,” Dr John Crouch, from the NOS, said.
“There is an urgent need for a regulatory framework that will protect patients and doctors from further problems arising from the use and misuse of bracebands.”
The NTSC, which regulates the use, sale and storage of bracets, has reported a sharp increase in the number and severity of brace-related injuries in recent years.
The Victorian government said that the number was up by 6.8 per cent in the last year and was up more than 50 per cent from the same period last year.
“The recent surge in cases has been driven by the increasing number of patients in the Victorian emergency department who have suffered a serious or fatal injury to the knee,” Dr Chris Rigg, the Minister of Health, said in a statement.
“We have worked with our local health authorities to establish new standards and regulations to prevent further injury or death from these products.”
The use of braces is banned in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, with most other states and territories including Queensland and the ACT banning the use or storage of the products.
A spokesperson for the Victorian Health Department said it was aware of the concerns and was working with the NTSCC and the Victorian Government to establish a robust regulatory framework.
“This will allow for a more transparent system for people to use bracelets,” she said.
A recent study published in the Australian Journal of Orthopsychiatry found that patients with a severe knee injury suffered more complications in hospital, with some requiring surgery, rehabilitation and further medical treatment.
“It’s not a question of if but when the bracelets will become available and be available on the market,” Dr Crouch said.
More to come.