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Exercise/Rehab Products

Cadlow Shoulder Stabilizer FAQs

1) When do I need a Cadlow™ Shoulder Stabilizer and what are the indications for its use?

The Cadlow™ Shoulder Stabilizer should be used for anterior, posterior or universal shoulder instability. Such instability may be caused by frequent or occasional minor injuries that stretch out the shoulder capsule, or to a single major complete dislocation (shoulder joint completely out of position). The Cadlow is especially effective at preventing shoulder subluxations (partial incomplete dislocations) but will also prevent major dislocations in about 87% of overhead athletic motions.

The person who needs a full range of overhead motion who has an unstable shoulder best uses the Cadlow. It may be used during active sports practice and during events such as football, basketball, soccer, rugby, volleyball, etc. allowing a full range of motion. Its most remarkable benefit is often the removal of all pain and apprehension in overhead use.

The Cadlow is a very useful rehabilitation device to strengthen the shoulder in all motions before and after surgical procedures. Always consult your physician or physical therapist for its best use in this situation.

2) What comes in a Cadlow kit?

The Cadlow light weight chest harness, arm band, compression shorts for attachment to the chest harness, 24 elastic bands in three tensions and eight lengths each, two spare springlinks, and two metal covers. The new bands have special attachment clips at each end for attachment to the harness, arm band, and shorts. A written pictorial instruction guide, and a CD Instruction guide for application, and a warrantee card are included.

3) Why am I told that nothing prevents overhead instability and recurrent dislocations without surgery?

The standard of care for centuries has been to keep the involved arm in less than 90 degrees of abduction or level with the ground. Any motion higher will allow dislocation or subluxation (partial dislocation) if the arm is turned outwards.

The Cadlow has proven this is NOT universally true. A Cadlow supported shoulder properly used will allow the shoulder to function without pain or apprehension in any position almost 90% of the time. However, younger patient athletes (under 35) may still be best treated with surgical repair of a torn shoulder capsule for the long term good of the shoulder.

4) How does the Cadlow function to keep the shoulder socket in place?

The Cadlow tensions make the muscles about the shoulder (periscapular) begin to contract more intensely with the first degrees of shoulder motion. By the time the arm has reached a point of instability, the muscle biofeedback controls the head of the humerus to hold it centered in the socket (against the glenoid).

5) How is the Cadlow best used?

For the first week it should be used a few hours a day, such as during sports practice. The cords should be tense and short enough to just allow the person to raise the arm completely overhead or abduction to 180 degrees.

In week two, the ability to raise the arm completely overhead should be assessed. If done easily, the weaker green cord should be changed to a stronger blue or very strong black cord. An alternative is to replace each cord with one that is one inch shorter. Again, the goal is to make full abduction very difficult, but possible. Because the muscles rapidly strengthen this process should be repeated each of the first four to five weeks.

The user rarely is even aware of the Cadlow after the first two weeks in spite of increasing the tensions weekly. It rarely interferes with overhead play or use.

6) Does the Cadlow ever fail to prevent dislocation/subluxation?

The most common reported mode of failure is the football interior lineman who is frequently struck directly on the upper back of the shoulder. Other failures are sporadic and usually related to direct blows to the shoulder rather than overhead use.

7) Does the Cadlow help a rotator cuff injury?

The Cadlow is an excellent rehabilitation exercise device to strengthen the intact rotator cuff from 30 to 95 degrees of abduction or forward flexion. It will NOT heal a full thickness torn rotator cuff, and could aggravate the symptoms and make a full thickness tear worse.

8) Does the Cadlow help stroke victims or shoulder paralysis?

Essentially NO! If there is partial shoulder paralysis leaving the ability to abduct/forward flex the arm to 90 degrees, the Cadlow may help to maximize the residual strength through its progressive resistive exercise features.

9) What if both shoulders are unstable?

The Cadlow can be applied to both shoulders and used on both shoulders at slightly greater cost.

10) Does one size fit everyone?

No! Each Cadlow must be fit to size. This requires the submission of the height, weight, chest and waist circumference measurements and the circumference of the involved arm just below the shoulder. The Cadlow comes in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes. Medium is the most common size.

11) How is the Cadlow worn?

It is best worn over a ‘T’ shirt and under a sports jersey, or football pads. It does not need to be attached to football pads.

12) How does one assemble the Cadlow?

The pictorial instruction guide and CD give step by step instructions for application.
13) Is the Cadlow useful in all sports activities?

No. It is not useful for wrestlers because of the character of their sport (too easy for the opponent to grab). It works well in all others including swimming for which is used as a great exercise.

14) Is the Cadlow latex free?

No! The cords are latex.

15) How do I wash the Cadlow?

The Cadlow may be hand or machine washed and dried. We suggest the connectors at the ends of the cords be kept dry as they can rust over time. If washed, carefully dry them when done.

16) How long will the Cadlow work?

If the user returns the included warranty card, it is warranted for six months. Shorts are not replaced free if used. Broken bands or connectors are replaced for free anytime.

17) Is the Cadlow Shoulder Stabilizer covered by my insurance?

The reimbursement depends entirely on your insurance contract and insurance company. The suggested insurance code of L3675 will often produce reimbursement of about $135.00 from many insurance companies. This will cover much of the cost of the Cadlow but not all.