What Knee Brace Do I Need?
Many times we have patients come in with knee pain and wanting a brace. The important thing to note is that there are many different knee braces that all have different functions.
To able to fit the right knee brace we have to determine what the goal of the brace is. Basic knee braces can be split into three different categories and I will hopefully break it down to help anyone decide what brace may be right for them.
A basic knee compression sleeve can range from $10 to $150. If you have general knee pain or some constant swelling in the knee area this type of brace would work for you.
The goal of these braces is to increase circulation and proprioception while decreasing swelling.
These braces do not add stability to the knee but give an overall comfort feeling.
They are very commonly worn as they are the most comfortable and easiest to wear.
A regular knee concern is stability. This means the patient feels their knee wants collapse while weight bearing.
This is normally due to a strain or laxity in the medial collateral ligament (MCL) or lateral collateral ligament (LCL) or overall muscle weakness.
Depending on how much stability the knee needs these braces can range from $80 to into the thousands.
In order to add stability to the knee, rigidly structured hinges need to be part of the brace.
The longer and stronger the hinge arms are the more stability is added to the knee.
The lower end braces are usually sleeves with hinge arms added while the stronger more expensive braces can be made of all rigid materials.
The third common use of knee braces is to help reduce pain with patella femoral syndrome.
The pain is caused by misalignment of the kneecap. The patella has a grove that it runs on while flexing and extending the knee.
For many reasons, including muscle imbalance and overpronation, the patella rubs on the grove causing pain.
The goal of this brace is to help hold the patella in its groove, while the cause is being fixed.
These braces usually cost between $50 and $250. In the brace, there is a buttress that runs along the lateral border of the kneecap.
They can be shaped as an O, a C, or a J, depending on the brace manufacturer. These braces work very well at decreasing pain but always remember to find the original cause of the pain and fix that as well.
Ask A Bracing Expert!
Hopefully, this can help you determine what basic type of brace would help with your knee problem. It is always important to have a medical professional help you assess your problem as well.
At Kintec we are always happy to answer your questions and help you decide which brace is best for you.