"Flex" spinal brace

Cork Emergency Departments


This brace has been prescribed by your clinician to you due to a broken bone (vertebrae) in your back. This brace aims to support your back, giving your bone time to heal. The same way a cast would work after breaking an ankle or wrist.

This leaflet will provide information on how to manage your brace at home, however you should follow all instructions given by your clinicain and his/her team even if different to information provided in this leaflet.


Your brace will have been sized and fitted for you by a physiotherapist. You will have been shown how to put the brace on and off prior to discharge from hospital.

The brace is normally worn for between 6 and 12 weeks. When you see the orthopaedic team as an outpatient in fracture clinic, and they are happy with the healing of the bone, they will refer you to physiotherapy to begin weaning from the brace.

This is a gradual process which will take place over a few weeks.


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If you experience any one or more of the following signs and symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:

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Putting on your brace

Step 1
Place both arms through the straps, like putting on a backpack
Step 2
Wrap the Velcro belt around your waist
Step 3
Tighten the belt with the "Pull Tabs" until you feel secure whilst still being able to take a deep breath. Attach the tabs to the front of the brace
Step 4
Standing up straight with shoulders back, tighten the shoulder straps by pulling down

Removing your brace

  1. Undo the ''Pull Tabs'' from the front of the brace
  2. Open the belt around your waist
  3. Remove the shoulder straps as if taking off a backpack

Skin Care Advice

You should wear a tight-fitting vest or t-shirt underneath your brace.

The brace should not rub against your skin.

Check your skin regularly for any signs of irritation i.e. redness, itching and soreness.

You may remove your brace for washing and sleeping.


  • Wear the brace throughout the day. It may be removed at night for sleeping
  • Remain active by taking short walks, little and often, appropriate to your fitness level
  • Sit in an upright position or in a higher chair, making it easier to rise from
  • Expect some discomfort as the brace is designed to limit your movement


  • Lift any heavy objects
  • Bend forward too much
  • Attempt to adjust the sizing of your brace at the back
  • Stop wearing the brace until instructed by your consultant
  • Remain in bed while wearing the brace as you will lose strength and fitness
  • Stay in prolonged positions such as sitting
  • Take part in contact sports or dangerous activities
  • Smoke as this will delay healing time

Contact Details

If you have any concerns or if you experience any problems with your brace please contact:

If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended:

Mercy Injury Unit, Gurranabraher (021)4926900

LIU Mallow(022)58506

LIU Bantry(027)52900

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan. Last review Dr ÍOS 11/04/23.