Osteoarthritis (OA) commonly affects the knees, from general wear and tear over the years, or if you have had a meniscal injury then you may be likely to have OA. In knees, this usually affects one side of your knee joint more than the other, medial or lateral (inside or outside) of your knee joint. This uneven wear pattern can cause mal-alignment, which can appear as bowlegged or knock-kneed. An OA knee brace may help by reducing the pain in your knees by relieving the pressure off the damaged joint surface.
OA knee braces come in a variety of designs, structures and materials which all become a factor when selecting an appropriate brace for you. Some designs have a rigid frame and an adjustable hinge to adjust the applied “push” pressure to offload the affected joint space, which can be great for people who take part in multiple activities who need different levels of support throughout their lifestyle. If you have any current or previous ligament instability that you are concerned about, a rigid frame OA brace may be the better choice for you.
Other braces offer a strap like system to “pull” the weight off your joint space when your knee straightens. This brace comes in a sleeve version or a flexible frame style. These braces are a single hinge design.
When choosing between the two systems, many factors are included such as:
If you fit an “off the shelf” brace comfortably, and it provides you the relief you desire, then you can go home with that brace the day of your appointment. If you have a unique leg angle or shape, then a custom brace will be suggested and then will be measured and made to your custom measurements, usually with a color option too! These custom braces usually take between 7-10 business days to arrive back at the clinic, we call you right away and book a fitting appointment where your clinician will check the fit and application before you take it home. After you take any brace home, whether it be custom or off the shelf, we offer free of charge follow up appointments if you feel the brace is not fitting comfortably anymore.
What the original brace appointment may entail:
We will assist you in finding a brace that is comfortable, and practical for you. The brace is only going to relieve your pain when you’re wearing it.
The Unloader one Lite from Ossur is a very lightweight, low profile OA brace. It offers pain relief to someone suffering from uni-compartmental knee OA- meaning only one joint surface (medial or lateral) is affected. This low profile brace can be worn under most loose fitting clothes- better than other brace comparisons. This brace offers adjustable tension by the Dynamic Force Straps and the single Smart Dosing Dial. With the sleeve as part of this brace, the added effect of proprioception is present. Proprioception is the neural feedback that communicate between the sensors on your skin, and your brain from the result of muscle contractions receive from movement making you aware of your joint positioning in your body and the motion of your movement.
The Unloader One Lite is great for the user who has:
Ossur offers a medium support OA knee brace with a similar design to the One Lite, only with a semi-rigid frame and single hinge, no sleeve. This brace is available in off the shelf and custom.
The Breg Fusion OA Knee Brace is designed for OA patients who participate in high-impact activities. This brace features a high-strength frame built with tempered aluminum that utilizes Breg’s standard adjustable hinge design for maximum durability, which is available with a dial or the use of a hex key (included) for offloading adjustments.
The Fusion OA brace is designed with:
Fusion OA is great for the user who:
This brace is available in off the shelf sizing and custom
The Genutrain S from Bauerfeind is our lightest support for OA but a very comfortable brace for Patella arthritis, or tri-compartmental OA if no unloading is required. The GenuTrain S knee brace with lateral joint splints, supports the knee joint for indications of slight instability, arthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee. An integral, ring-shaped pressure cushion (pad) surrounds the kneecap, while the interplay of the knit and the pad provides intermittent compression massage, thereby activating the musculature and stimulating the healing process. The combination of hinges and straps add passive support for the knee. All while being hugged in 20-30mmHg medical grade compression knit for those people taking part in activities that cause swelling.
The Genutrain S is indicated for: