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Wilmer Elbow Orthosis

Wilmer Elbow Orthosis

Maximum function
With minimal material

Minimalist in design - maximum in function

The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis (also called brace or spalk) was developed by the Wilmer Group of the Delft University of Technology. This orthosis is intended for people with paralysis of the muscles around the elbow. It’s an extremely lightweight orthosis (it weighs only 160g!) that allows the arm to be functionally used in several ways.

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The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis on the arm. Because the orthosis is carried on the inside of the arm it is almost not visible. It’s cosmetic while it’s functional.

The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is truly a high-level engineering. Due to its clever design, it is possible to move and lock the arm without the need of the other arm. During the design a lot of attention has been paid to the user. Therefore, the design is also optimized for cosmetics and comfort. The orthosis is custom-made so that a perfect fit will give you the most comfort

A Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is intended for people with reduced control over, or failure of the muscles around the elbow. This occures for example at people who have a Plexus Brachialis lesion. Even after a stroke (CVA), muscle failure may have occurred. The result may be that there is no control over the elbow. That has very many consequences. Even simple actions like buttoning a shirt or pants, carrying a bag or opening a full bottle of cola will be almost impossible. With the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis, functionality is returned to the paralyzed arm.

Specifications of the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis

  • Restoration of elbow function through smart locking
  • Two locking positions
    • In 90° against further stretching
    • In 35° against further bending
  • Arm loadable up to 3 kg, for example to carry something
  • Adjustable spring mechanism to support flexion
    • Moment minimal 1 Nm
    • Moment maximal 4 Nm
  • Full Range (ROM)
    • 0° (complete extension)
    • 140° (complete flexion)
  • Reduced arm swing
  • Locking mechanism can be operated by the paralyzed arm itself.
  • Arm on the unaffected side retains full freedom.
  • Locking mechanism can be turned off.
  • High wearing comfort. Can be worn underneath clothing.
  • No Velcro strap required
  • Easy donning and doffing
  • Custom made and therefore good fit.
  • Low weight (100 g) and yet very robust

Further specifications and performances of the WEO

  • Standard model
    • Only supports the paralyzed arm, but the fingers and hand remain free.
  • Handmodel
    • Supports arm but also the hand with a handsupport.
  • All units are available in one size in left and right models
  • The orthosis is usually carried on the inside of the arm
  • Optional carried on the outside of the arm, but then a left-hand version for the right arm is used.
  • The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is suitable for forearms with a length between 16 and 25 cm (measured from styloid (knob on the ulna) till olecranon)
  • With a circumference between 23 and 34 cm (thickest part of the forearm)
  • Different sizes are available on request
  • In flexion contractures and/or spasticity, the Wilmer Elbow Orthesis is not suitable but the Wilmer Stretching Orthesis should be considered.

Causes of a paralyzed elbow

  • A paralyzed elbow can be caused by a nerve damage to the arm: Brachial plexus laesie. This can be caused by a fracture or clot after a motorcycle or bike accident.
  • But also the brain can not work properly, for example due to stroke (CVA).
  • Sometimes the nerve damage occurred during birth. This is called Erbse parese. See also the detail page of the Children Wilmer Elbow Orthosis

Consequences of a paralyzed elbow

The effects of a paralyzed elbow can have a huge impact. The arm can not be lifted properly so that objects can no longer grabbed, carried, or lifted. The arm loses an important part of its function. And if that’s not enough, you can not keep the arm in position.

For people with limp paralysis (eg after plexus brachialis lesion), it means that when moving the torso, the arm begins to move because of inertia, without being able to control this. This “arm swing” can be extremely annoying and allows the arm to easily bump against chairs, tables and walls, which can damage the arm or hand.

For people with a spastic paralysis (eg after CVA), this may mean that the arm is pulled in maximum bending unexpectedly during a spasm. That is also very annoying. Especially if the spasm complaints last longer, this can be painful and lead to shortening of the muscles, so that the arm can not even be stretched completely. For this population of patients, the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is less suitable. In that case, you may benefit from the Wilmer Stretching Orthosis.

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The 35° locking position in the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is intended to reduce the “swinging” during walking. This position is the natural state of the elbow while moving the arm while walking. The lock ensures that the arm stays in the plane of the body, so that you get control of the arm again and the movements, even during walking, look natural. Attaching the arm by putting the hand in the pocket of the jacket is no longer needed.

Order codes WEO for the professional

250019 | WEO elbow orthosis | left
250020 | WEO elbow orthosis | right

250015 | WEO elbow orthosis + hand support | left
250016 | WEO elbow orthosis + hand support | right

250304 | WEO hand support unit

250042 | WEO tube extension connection for hand support | left
250043 | WEO tube extension connection for hand support | right

Watch the videos on our YouTube channel. For example:

How do I get the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis?

The Wilmer Elbow Orthese is custom made. For optimal operation and good comfort it is important that the orthosis fits well. After all, you need the orthosis every day throughout the day. Therefore, the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is measured and fitted by professionals (orthopedic advisors).

The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis is prescribed by your attending physician. In most cases, this will be the rehabilitation therapist. In many cases, approval must be sought from your insurer. Besides, all insurers in the Netherlands pay the Wilmer Elbow Orthese with a correct indication of the situation.

Do you want a non-binding advise from one of our clinical experts about the possibilities of a Wilmer Elbow Orthosis in your situation, or do you want to know which professionals in your area have experience with this orthosis? Feel free to contact us. We are happy to assist you.

How does the Wilmer Elbow orthosis work?

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The locking position of the elbow hinge (B and C)

The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis contains a spring mechanism that helps to move your arm. In addition, in the hinge is a locking mechanism that can hold your arm stable at 90 ° so that you can carry something with your arme, for example a cup or bag (depending on the function of your wrist and hand).

The elbow can also be locked in 35°. In this position you can move your arm with help from your shoulder, without losing control of the limp forearm . That’s the position you can simply swing your arm while walking, without bumping to anything else.

Do you want to know in detail how the Wilmer Elbow Orthese works exactly? Check out our manual.

Wilmer Elbow Orthosis with hand support

The Wilmer Elbow Orthosis with hand support, seen from the inside of the arm

Versions of the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis

There are two versions of the Wilmer Elbow Orthosis. The standard version without hand support and a version with hand support. The latter is used if you have reduced control over your hand. See photo.

Usually, the orthosis is carried on the inside (medial) of the arm. Then the Wilmer Elbow Orthese noticed less. Most people actually see your arm from the outside. Sometimes, however, it is chosen to wear the orthosis on the outside (lateral) of the arm. For example, if contact between the orthosis and the torso are unwanted.

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