What Brace Do I Need For My Knee Condition?
Imagine this: Your knee started to ache several months ago. It was never on the forefront of your mind because you live a busy life. Then, you started to notice the knee pain more frequently in recent weeks.
You made an appointment with your family doctor to talk to them about it. At your appointment, they may have provided you with a diagnosis and told you to try a knee brace.
You want the best for your health and you want this pain to disappear. Being the crafty internet researcher you are, you want to learn more about your options.
Most knee conditions have a spectrum of braces that could work, whether you are looking for light, medium, or heavy-duty support. Finding a brace that is comfortable to wear during the activities you require it for is paramount to anything else.
There are so many bracing options available on the market that there is something for everyone. Here is an overview of bracing options for several of the most common conditions we see at Kintec.
Someone who has medial or lateral osteoarthritis of the knee should wear a medical compression knee sleeve, such as the Bauerfeind GenuTrain.
A knee sleeve is a high-quality medical grade compression sleeve that is made of comfortable and breathable knit material and is sized correctly for you.
It can also help reduce swelling in the knee and provide proprioceptive feedback.
Donjoy Playmaker Xpert Knee Brace
If the medical grade compression sleeve does not provide enough support, you may want to try a brace that provides medial and lateral support with metal hinges, such as the Donjoy Playmaker Xpert knee brace.
The hinges will allow your knee to bend and straighten normally but will restrict side-to-side movement in the knee.
This can help reduce the feeling of instability in the knee.
The most supportive option for medial or lateral knee osteoarthritis is an unloading knee brace, such as the Donjoy Defiance OA knee brace.
Unloading braces can be custom made for you or purchased off the shelf. The purpose of an unloading brace is to reduce pressure on the damaged area of your knee.
There are many unloading brace styles available, so these kinds of braces require an appointment at Kintec.
Someone with a meniscus tear often has pain when walking, running, and going up and down stairs. They may also experience clicking sounds or feel like their knee is locking.
Typically, if you have a meniscus tear, you would benefit from having a brace that has hinges on both sides of your knee, such as the Bauerfeind GenuTrain S.
A hinged brace will provide side-to-side support for the knee and reduce the feeling of instability.
If pain, and knee clicking or locking, are still a problem with a hinged knee brace, you might find support from an unloader brace, such as the Ossur Unloader One.
To use an unloader brace, it’s ideal that your meniscus injury be isolated to either the medial or lateral compartment of the knee. Unloader braces are worn to reduce pressure on the knee where there is damage to the meniscus. This should reduce pain, as well as clicking sounds, or the feeling of your knee locking.
There are many unloading brace styles available, so these kinds of braces require an appointment.
The right knee brace for a ligament injury depends on what ligament is damaged, and how extensive the damage is.
If the injury is to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or lateral collateral ligament (LCL) then a medial-lateral hinged brace may provide all the support that you need.
If the injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), or if the MCL or LCL is injured but does not feel adequately supported with a sleeve-hinge knee brace, then a rigid-frame brace that restricts motion of the tibia, or shin bone, in a forward-back motion is required.
If you have a PCL tear, you may benefit from using a custom-made brace called the Ossur Rebound PCL.
This revolutionary brace combines all the ligament support of a rigid frame brace with a proprietary Dynamic Tension System™ to provide support for the PCL.
As this is a highly-specialized and custom brace, this brace requires an appointment with a Kintec bracing specialist.
Sleeve braces can’t properly support the ACL unless they have very specific and rigid strapping, such as the Bauerfeind Softec Genu or Donjoy Playmaker.
If you are inquiring about a brace for an ACL injury, you will require an appointment with a bracing specialist at Kintec.
If you have patellofemoral pain or have experienced patella subluxation or dislocation, you may benefit from wearing a brace with a patella buttress, or padding around the kneecap. This can help keep the patella in the correct position as you move.
If you need a light level of support, you may find support from a medical grade compression sleeve such as the Bauerfeind Genutrain, as it has a gentle buttress around the patella.
If you require more support, you may benefit from a brace that has a more substantial buttress, such as the Ossur FX patella stabilizer or the Donjoy Tru-Pull Lite.
Do I need a brace with an open, or closed, kneecap?
If the cartilage under the patella is damaged and you have been diagnosed with patella OA or chondromalacia, then a brace with an open circle around the patella would be most suitable.
This will reduce pressure on the cartilage on the underside of the knee cap.
If you have been diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome, or patella subluxation or dislocation, the buttress (or padding) around the knee cap is most important.
Whether the knee area is open or closed is a matter of personal preference.
Need a Knee Brace?
If you have any questions, reserve a One2One appointment today. A qualified brace fitter will help you find the right brace for you based on your lifestyle and measurements.
Our new One2One program will provide you with the highest level of safety and personalized service for all of your bracing needs.
Diana DomanFebruary 9, 2019 at 12:26 pm
I have a prescription for a knee brace. Do I have to make an apt to come in or walk in.
KintecFebruary 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm
Hi Diana, thank you for asking! We recommend making an appointment so we can take our time assessing you and working out a treatment plan – as well as making sure your brace fits right for you. Find a location to call and make an appointment here: https://kintec.net/contact-us/
Murray WoodsJuly 6, 2019 at 8:02 pm
Moderate to severe lateral compartment oa post meniscectomy, also moderate acl deficiency in an active 65 year old man, who wishes to continue with tennis, hiking, garden work, and downhill skiing.
Kintec Footwear + OrthoticsJuly 10, 2019 at 10:54 am
Hi Murray! Thank you for your question. For the knee condition you have described you may benefit from an unloading and stabilizing knee brace. Hope this helps!
Eugen DonhauserDecember 6, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Thanks for sharing those tips! I run quite often and my knees have been quite sore recently so have been looking for a pair of medical grade knee braces.
I found the Genutrain knee brace to work well.
Michael RyanMarch 29, 2020 at 10:23 pm
Great! Bauerfeind make great bracing products.