Custom Knee Bracing
Custom knee bracing can be a simple and effective way to reduce pain, prevent injury, and resume your activities. It is the most effective way to both stabilize and protect the knee joint. A custom knee brace is a medical appliance that is manufactured based on precise measurements of your leg, and tailored for your specific injury.
The brace is made from a combination of composite materials and polymers, or aerospace grade aluminum, making it both lightweight and extremely durable. “Custom” means your brace conforms with your knee intimately, ensuring a consistent level of protection and comfort without any significant loss of mobility.
How effective is custom knee bracing for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee?
In the majority of cases, very effective! Research has shown that more than 70% of patients with OA of the knee report significant improvements in pain, a reduction in pain medication, and increased activity levels when using a custom knee brace.
Ref: Barnes CL et al. American Journal of Orthopaedics 2002 Jul; 31(7): 396-401.
What conditions will bracing help with?
- Ligament injuries of the knee (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL)
- Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee
- Knee instabilities
Can I use my brace for Physical Activity
Absolutely. Many of our patients have continued to participate in regular exercise and recreational activities, such as golf, hiking, tennis, and gardening, thanks to the custom knee braces we’ve fitted them with. Our braces are also contoured to fit easily underneath most types of clothing, including athletic wear.
Which brace is right for me?
Bracing comes in an variety of options and can be quite overwhelming. Ultimately understanding your diagnosis/condition, and replaying that to your pedorthist will help narrow down the options.
Soft orthopaedic bracing
Soft orthopaedic options assist with:
Mild ligament injuries of the knee (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL)
Mild osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.
Provide mild compression of swelling.
Provide the joint and surrounding tissues with better proprioception and support.
***(proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length, and muscle tension, which is integrated to give information about the position of the limb in space)
Soft orthopaedic options can generally be pulled on, or wrapped around the knee to securing them in place. A properly sized, placed and fitted knee brace should not move around on the leg.
Frame or "Rigid" bracing can be utilized in a variety of settings, and usually yields the highest comfort during activity. Don't be fooled by the term 'Rigid', many - if not all of these braces are extremely light weight, designed with activity and movement in mind. They are sturdy in material, and have a longer life span. They are built this way to enable hard wear and optimal performance.
Where they assist:
Moderate to severe ligament injuries of the knee which create significant instability (ACL, MCL, LCL, PCL)
Moderate to severe Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee - "Unloading" or "Off loading" the compartment of the knee OA has affected
Non-invasive effective treatment in the prevention or postponement of knee replacement surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q - My custom frame brace dosesn't fit right. Does this mean it's not right for me?
A - Not necessarily! Take that brace back to where you purchased it and ask for a re-fit! There are many tricks and tips a fitter can help with. Knowledge on the brace is what the fitters are trained for.
Q - Warranty and replacement parts?
A - Most custom braces come with a warranty on the parts. "Over the counter" or "non custom" generally do not.
Many of the suppliers who build the custom braces keep a file on each brace. There is item or registration number printed on the inside of your brace. If the brace is under 5 years old (and in some cases 10), there is a high probability that the company may still have your braces information.
Q - How do I clean the silicone pads on my custom brace?
A - You can re-invigorate the "suction" with rubbing alcohol. Simply wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol for cleaning.
**some companies advise using a baby wipe after each use to reduce build up from skin and loctions