Case Studies

Special Needs: S. E. Dysplasia Cogenita

Name: Patrick Tinney, Occupation: Student


Patrick’s ability to perform activities is affected by his condition: sydolo epiphyseal dysplasia congenita. Some of his joints are malformed, and he has shortening of his limbs and his spine. He has limitation of shoulder movement and upper thoracic restriction. Usually confined to his electric wheelchair, which is very cumbersome in the schoolroom, he cannot turn to look at the board and is confined to the position his wheelchair is in when he stops it.

Small correcting movements around the desk or room are impossible. Access to his work is awkward, and his hand and upper limb function are limited as he sits ‘collapsed’ in a very poor posture, which is the typical ‘C’ position caused by flat seating. Flat seats cause the pelvis to rotate backwards, which, in turn, causes the spine to lose its natural curves; the lumbar lordosis is flattened into kyphosis, and the shoulders then protract, and the head protrudes forward. This position is one of great postural stress, and it is a position from which it is difficult to perform tasks.

Introduction to the Saddle Seat

The Bambach Saddle Seat was recommended by his physiotherapist and his occupational therapist. His physiotherapist was interested especially in offering him a seat that would help with his hip problems. The Bambach Saddle seat position, of external rotation in abduction, is a position of close contact for the hip and gives Patrick a comfortable hip position.


Patrick’s posture in the Bambach Saddle seat is markedly better than in the wheelchair or on any flat seat. His spinal position is corrected, his pelvis now being anchored in its upright neutral position, his lumbar curve evident, and the position of his head is greatly improved. On the Bambach Saddle Seat, Patrick is able to perform tasks more easily. He can turn in any direction due to the swivel action of the seat and, with his feet in full plantar contact, can propel himself around his desk or around the room at will.

Patrick says:
From the wheelchair, I have to lean forward more to reach my work. The new seat makes it easier to get around.

It is the opinion of the therapists that Patrick’s position is much more of an active one in the Bambach Saddle seat. The likelihood of future postural deformities is minimised using the Saddle Seat.

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