Could An Insole Be As Effective As A Knee Brace?


Are you one of the 1 in 4 Canadians suffering from knee osteoarthritis? Is knee pain affecting your ability to perform day-to-day activities? Did you know that more than 50% of people will wait longer than 6 months for a knee replacement?

If you’ve ever suffered with knee osteoarthritis you know how even the most simple tasks, like standing up can be a challenge. Now, imagine being able to manage your knee pain and keep active while you are waiting for surgery. Introducing the revolutionary Custom V.D.O.O insole by Kintec, designed to unload your knee and reduce pain.

What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?

Knee osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, is a common condition that affects the knee joints, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. While OA can affect any joint in your body, knee OA is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It is most commonly found in people over the age of 55, but symptoms can begin to form much earlier. 

Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones within the knee joint gradually wears away, leading to friction, inflammation, and damage. Traditionally, OA was associated with degeneration of the cartilage lining bone. However, we now understand that OA is a disorder of all of the tissue in the joint including the underlying bone, meniscus, joint fluid, and even surrounding muscle. 

The primary risk factors for knee osteoarthritis include age, obesity, previous knee injuries, repetitive stress on the knee joints, and a family history of the condition. Over time, the degeneration of cartilage in the knee can result in the formation of bone spurs, further exacerbating pain and joint dysfunction. Individuals with knee osteoarthritis often experience symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. 

As the degeneration of the joint continues, walking, climbing stairs, and even standing up from a chair can become more challenging due to pain. Head to our treatment guide to learn more here.


Introducing The V.D.O.O Insole

V.D.O.O. stands for Variable Density Osteoarthritis Orthosis. The V.D.O.O. insole is the first ever custom insole developed exclusively to treat knee osteoarthritis.

The custom V.D.O.O is university tested and proven to reduce symptoms. In three published studies, the V.D.O.O show a 5% reduction in knee joint load with every step.  One of these papers investigated standing MRI images. It suggested the VDOO potentially achieves this load reduction by increasing the contact area of the knee, therefore reducing pressure at the affected area.


How Does the custom V.D.O.O. insole Help Knee Osteoarthritis?

The custom V.D.O.O. insole is designed to address a common challenge when it comes to managing pain—activities can often intensify discomfort, especially with prolonged durations. Interestingly, despite this, movement is frequently advised as the primary approach to managing arthritis.

This is where the V.D.O.O. insole comes in, aiming to alleviate pain during activity, allowing gradual strengthening of the muscles around the joint and promoting improved blood flow to the affected limb, thereby reducing inflammation. Notably, the V.D.O.O. insole also provides support for the foot, making it unique among insoles by both stabilizing the foot and addressing knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Here are the key benefits of the V.D.O.O. insole:

  • Reduces load on the knee compartment: By reducing stress on the knee joint, the V.D.O.O. insole helps alleviate long-term knee osteoarthritis, resulting in decreased reliance on surgery, medication, and pain management. It ultimately improves the overall quality of life.
  • Supports the foot: The insole not only provides relief from foot or lower leg pain but also stabilizes the foot to address knee osteoarthritis symptoms effectively.

The V.D.O.O. insole incorporates a combination of a lateral wedge and arch support. A research study conducted at UBC examined the immediate biomechanical impacts of two types of orthotics for individuals with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. The study findings revealed that patients who wore custom orthotics with both a lateral wedge and arch support experienced greater immediate comfort compared to those without any orthotic or with just a lateral wedge. A lateral wedge is an insert on an orthotic that elevates the outside of the foot. The study found that the biomechanics at the knee was improved for both patients using either only the wedge or the wedge with arch support. However, significant differences were observed at the ankle.  Using only a lateral wedge results in increased instability and flattening arch, potentially aggravating conditions associated with lower arches such as plantar fasciitis or medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints). Due to the potential foot and ankle complications with isolated lateral wedge therapy, it is desirable to find a solution that offers the same convenience and effectiveness (at the knee) as a lateral wedge, but still provides sufficient support for the foot and ankle. This is the inspiration behind the V.D.O.O.


Additionally, the V.D.O.O. insole uses arch support with variable stiffness  A research study conducted by Kintec’s Head of Innovation, Michael Ryan looked at different types of special insoles for shoes and how they affect people’s feet. The study found that this particular insole provided support to the foot’s arch and helped prevent excessive ankle turning. Interestingly, individuals with naturally outward-turning feet (supinated feet) showed the least improvement with these special insoles. Overall, the study suggests that while these special insoles can be beneficial for some people with knee problems, not everyone, especially those with supinated feet, will experience the same benefits.

Therefore, supinated foot types may be less likely to benefit biomechanically from these interventions. The use of arch support with a variable-stiffness design in conjunction with a lateral wedge may be superior to a uniform-stiffness design, as it simultaneously reduces the magnitude of knee adduction moment (KAM) and mitigates the increase in ankle/subtalar eversion moment compared to using a lateral wedge alone.


How Can Kintec Help?

When you schedule an appointment with a Kintec pedorthist, they will perform a comprehensive biomechanical examination. Our fitting procedure begins with gaining insights into your lifestyle. Then, we utilize a biomechanical assessment and video gait analysis to gain a deeper understanding of how the mechanics of your feet are impacting the alignment of your legs and the overall functioning of your body.

Our Canadian Certified Pedorthist will carefully evaluate your medical history and examine your feet. Based on their findings, they will develop a personalized treatment plan that includes the custom VDOO orthotic. This orthotic is designed to alleviate pain associated with knee osteoarthritis, ensuring you find relief. We can fine-tune your support to balance comfort and pain relief for your feet and knees.

Our goal with assessment and treatment is to:

  • provide you with education, support, and a personalized treatment plan
  • minimize your pain 
  • help you stay active on your feet, for life

If you have any questions, please call us at 604-200-3338 or make an appointment to visit us in-store.