Managing DMD with a “Revolutionary” DMO® Custom Suit
Harry's Story - Patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
When asked what word he would use to describe DM Orthotics’ DMO® Custom Suit, Harry’s dad replied:
Harry has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a neuromuscular condition that causes progressive muscle weakness. Owing to the lack of the dystrophin protein, muscle fibres break down and are replaced by fibrous and or fatty tissue causing the muscle to weaken gradually.
Harry’s DMD means he easily gets tired when walking, sitting or with any general movement. Additionally, with his weaker muscles and hypermobility, this puts considerable additional strain on his back and hips, causing his back to arch forward significantly (increased lumbar lordosis).
After attending his regular physiotherapy sessions, Harry and his family were recommended to get in touch with DM Orthotics by his physiotherapist, Sarah Brown, Specialist Neuromuscular Physiotherapist at Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.
“Spinal x-rays showed no fractures or bony abnormalities at this time. It appeared that this discomfort was muscle pain due to his adapted position. Physio advice would often be to rest, increase the use of a wheelchair and ensure good postural support in the chair, however at age six we felt he was too young to start limiting his activities.”
– Sarah Brown, Specialist Neuromuscular Physiotherapist
Sarah had worked with DM Orthotics products in the past with patients with neuromuscular conditions and asked Clinical Manager at DM Orthotics, Patricia McCotter for her assessment and advice. Patricia recommended that Harry may benefit from a bodysuit to help better support his abdominals, assist the pelvis in a more neutral position and distribute load across his trunk. She also suggested socks to help improve his foot position.
Harry is now using both the DMO® Custom Suit and Socks.
“I call it my ‘SuperSuit’.”
Both Harry and his family found the journey of obtaining his new orthoses a smooth process. Patricia met with Harry and his family on several occasions. Firstly, to assess and measure Harry, then secondly, to complete some fine–tuning for Harry’s orthoses to ensure the best fit and support.
“It’s great to see Patricia as she understands Harry and we can discuss the needs of the suit. It was her idea to put some extra support around his tummy and hips to aid with his stair climb.”
– Harry’s Dad
After several months of using his new orthoses, Harry now finds that he doesn’t get as tired as easily as before, giving him extra energy to enjoy time with his family and friends.
“We assessed Harry three months after he began wearing his suit and socks and he and his family were able to share the benefits that they had experienced: his lumbar spine discomfort had improved significantly, and he had more energy. On examination his lumbar lordosis had reduced which had an ongoing impact further up his spine with a reduction in thoracic kyphosis, improved shoulder retraction and cervical spine retraction. His ankles were positioned in a more neutral plane and he had improved heel strike on gait analysis.
“We are delighted that Harry’s “Super-suit” has made him more comfortable and that he has more energy to do the things he loves.”
Sarah Brown, Specialist Neuromuscular Physiotherapist
DMO® Custom Suit
The DMO® Custom Suit is designed to align the shoulders, torso and hips. It improves symmetry and assists stabilisation of the trunk and spine. The DMO® Suit gives a non-restrictive and highly effective level of support to maximise postural stability. The DMO® Suit also aids distal control and positively influences muscle tone to enhance function. Our custom dynamic movement orthoses® are fully made-to-measure and are bespoke to you. It is a patient specific prescription provided by a prescribing clinician. Our DMO® custom orthoses come in a range of colours and with a wide range of reinforcements to help support and control movement, tailored to the individual’s needs. Custom products also let customers have their own openings, zips, toileting etc to make it easier for daily life.