The knee takes 80 percent of the body weight and so is at a high risk of injury especially while performing sports and other vigorous activities. Some of the common causes of knee injury include, bursitis, tendonitis, ligament tear, worn-out cartilages, osteoarthritis, muscle sprain, muscle strain and postural misalignment.

Knee braces are supports to be worn on an injured or painful knee. Some people use them to prevent knee injuries during sports. They support the knee joint to prevent knee injury, while reducing pain and swelling. They also support post-surgery recovery as well as rehabilitation of the knee joints. These knee supports are constructed with a combination of rigid and flexible material such as plastic, metal, and other composite material for basic support and structure and synthetic rubber or moldable foam for padding and positioning. One can find knee braces and supports in different sizes, colors and designs.

Knee Supports

Causes of Knee Injuries

# Natural aging and wear and tear

# Bleeding disorders that cause bleeding in the joints, such as hemophilia

# Disorders that block blood supply near a joint leading to avascular necrosis

#Different types of arthritis, such as chronic gout, pseudo gout or rheumatoid arthritis

# Recurrence of a joint injury

# Overweight

#Lack of physical activity

Why are Knee Braces required?

Knee conditions, if not treated or managed can result in aggravated situations, such as, stiffness, immobility, muscle spasms, contractions in affected tendons, fluid accumulation in the joints, crackling sound in the joints, bone enlargement, node or bunion formation around the joints. Thus, treating knee conditions timely and correctly is very essential.

A knee brace takes pressure off the joint part affected by osteoarthritis and relieves pain. If one feels the knee might buckle up when weight is exerted on it, a knee brace will also enable to stand and move around. They allow the ligaments to heal post-surgery or injury and relieve knee cap pain.

Types of Knee Braces and Supports

Knee braces fall into four (4) broad categories, which also mentions the benefits user gets by using them:

Prophylactic Knee Braces

These protective knee braces are designed to prevent as well as reduce the severity of ligamentous injuries to the knee. They protect the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) against valgus knee stress as well as the knee joint against a repeat injury. These braces are commonly used by athletes who play contact sports such as football, basketball and hockey, wherein prevails a high risk of MCL injury.

Functional Knee Braces

These are used in situations when there already exists a knee injury and is in the process of healing. There are functional knee braces to treat Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), MCL, Posterior Collateral Ligament (PCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), and combination injuries. In each case there are specific braces that apply appropriate force to support the affected ligament. The braces will reduce the knee instability following the injury. In addition to improving the stability knee supports reduce the risk of damage to the other knee parts. They are used by people who participate in jumping, twisting, pivoting, or cutting activities. Thus, when fitted properly and used during the general rehabilitation program, it can benefit people recovering from knee surgeries or injuries.

Rehabilitative Knee Braces

These are designed for users recuperating from a knee surgery or injury in the recent past. They limit potentially harmful knee movements. These braces protect a reconstructed or repaired ligament and allow early motion of the knee joint. They are typically user during the first two to eight weeks post-surgery or injury. They are more rehabilitative than a splint or case as they allow space for swelling, ability to remove the brace to examine the knee and ability to move in a controlled range of motion.

Unloader/Offloader Knee Braces

These are prescribed for those suffering from medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. They unload stress from the affected joint by placing pressure on the thigh bone. This forces the knee to bend away from the painful area. They can be custom-designed. They are recommended for those awaiting a knee replacement surgery.

The effect of using a knee brace will be seen only when it is placed in the right position. There are various contributing factors which increase the likelihood of an injury, such as, a vigorous sports activity, other health conditions, and past instances of repeat joint injuries. The doctor or physical therapist is the best person to assess a patient’s condition/requirement and accordingly suggest the most appropriate knee support.

Health Vistas brings to you a wide variety of Donjoy knee braces to choose from. Available in different sizes each of them is designed to meet a specific knee condition.