Discharge Instructions: Using a Jewett Brace

Your healthcare provider has prescribed a Jewett brace for you. This back brace keeps your back in extension while it heals after surgery or injury, so wear your brace as directed. Your provider will tell you how often and for how long you should wear the brace each day.

Here's what you need to know about home care.


  • Arrange your household to keep the items you need handy. Keep everything else out of the way.

  • Keep your hands free by using a fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things.

  • Use a cane, crutches, walker, handrails, or someone to help you until you have improved your balance, flexibility, and strength.

  • Remember, the brace will limit your ability to move in certain directions. You will not be able to sit in some types of chairs.

  • Don’t bend or twist at the waist, or raise your hands over your head.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for the first 2 weeks after your injury or surgery.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to wear the brace when you are lying in bed.

Skin care

  • Wear a T-shirt under the brace to protect your skin and absorb sweat.

  • Check for skin irritation and reddened areas after wearing the brace. You may need to have your brace adjusted, or you may need a different size.

Applying the brace

Apply the brace the way you were shown in the hospital. Remember: You will need help to properly apply the brace.

  • Move to one side of the bed by using your arms and legs to move your hips over, or by having a helper pull the sheet under you over to one side. Don’t twist or move your back. Keep it straight.

  • Roll onto your side away from the edge of the bed. Try to keep your back straight. Roll like a log.

  • Have your helper position the front half of the brace while you are lying on your side. The upper pad should be across your breastbone and the lower pad across the front of your stomach.

  • Position the back of your brace. Have your helper hold the brace in place while you log-roll onto your back.

  • Attach the front and back of the brace. Pull the brace shut and tighten it with the key.

  • Make sure the brace is aligned before you try to stand.

  • Drop your legs over the side of the bed and push yourself up to a sitting position. Then slowly raise yourself to stand.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as directed.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Sudden or increased shortness of breath

  • Sudden chest pain or localized chest pain with coughing

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38°C), or as directed by your provider

  • Chills

  • Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling at the incision site

  • Drainage from the incision

  • Opening of the incision

  • Increasing pain with or without activity

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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