Which Knee Brace Do I Need? 5 for Common Issues & Injuries
If you've been injured and are in need of a knee brace, the options can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands and styles available on the market; how do you know which one is right for you? This blog post will discuss five of the most common knee injuries and which braces are best suited for each one. We'll also give you a few tips on how to choose the right brace for your needs. Let's get started!
Why Are Knee Braces Needed?
Knee braces are supports worn around the knee to protect the knee from further injury or to allow it to heal. They are often made of metal, plastic, or a combination of materials. A hole in the center of the brace makes space for a pad that rests over the kneecap. The pads may be made of gel, air, or foam and help to protect the knee from impact. The rest of the brace is held in place with velcro straps. Some braces also have hinges on the sides, allowing the knee to move more freely. A doctor or physiotherapist usually prescribes knee braces after an injury such as a meniscus tear or ACL rupture. In some cases, they may also be worn to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. For example, people who play contact sports or who have had previous knee injuries may wear knee braces to reduce their risk of re-injuring their knees. Knee braces can be costly, but insurance plans often cover them. Many people find that wearing a knee brace speed up their recovery time and help them return to their previous activity level faster.
Knee Brace Types According To Common Issues and Injuries
Now that we've answered the question "why are knee braces needed," it's time to discuss which type of knee brace is best for your specific injury.
1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury:
An anterior cruciate ligament tear is one of the most common knee injuries, particularly among athletes. The ACL is a strong band of tissue that connects the thighbone to the shinbone and helps to stabilize the knee joint. A sudden twisting motion can cause the ACL to tear, and the resulting pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the damage. However, many nonsurgical treatment options can help reduce pain and promote healing. Physical therapy, for example, can help strengthen the knee muscles and improve the range of motion. Wearing a brace or crutches may also be recommended to keep weight off the affected leg. With proper treatment, most people are able to regain full function of their knee and return to their previous level of activity.
Two main types of braces are commonly prescribed for ACL injuries: hinged knee braces and patellofemoral knee braces. Hinged knee braces are designed to limit the knee joint's motion, which helps prevent further injury. On the other hand, Patellofemoral knee braces are more focused on relieving pressure on the kneecap. Your doctor will likely recommend one of these two braces based on your injury's severity.
2. Meniscus Tear:
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury, especially for athletes. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that sits between the thighbone and shinbone. It provides cushioning and stability for the knee joint. A meniscus tear can occur when the knee is twisted or turned abruptly, causing the cartilage to tear. Symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain, swelling, and stiffness. A knee brace can help stabilize the joint and protect it from further injury.
Athletes are particularly susceptible to meniscus tears because of their repetitive stress on their knees. If you play a sport that involves a lot of jumping or twisting, you may be at risk for a meniscus tear. Wearing a knee brace can help prevent this type of injury.
The type of knee brace recommended for a meniscus tear depends on the severity of the injury. A simple hinged knee brace may be all that is needed for a mild tear. This type of brace provides support and stability to the joint while allowing you to continue playing your sport. You may need a larger, rigid brace that limits your range of motion for a more severe tear. This type of brace is typically worn for a shorter period until the injury has healed.
3. Patellar Dislocation:
Patellar dislocation is a common knee injury, especially among young athletes. The patella, or kneecap, is a small bone that sits at the front of the knee. It helps to protect the knee joint and allows for smooth movement of the leg. A patellar dislocation occurs when the patella is forced out of its normal position. This can happen due to a fall, direct blow, or sudden change in direction. Symptoms of a patellar dislocation include pain, swelling, and instability of the knee joint.
A patellar dislocation is a serious injury that requires prompt medical attention. Once the patella has been relocated, a knee brace may be needed to stabilize the joint. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to wear a hinged knee brace or a larger, rigid brace. You will likely need to avoid putting weight on your leg until the injury has healed.
4. Patellar Tendinitis:
Patellar tendinitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon is a strong tissue band connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. This condition is also known as "jumper's knee" because it is common among athletes who participate in jumping sports such as basketball and volleyball. Patellar tendinitis is often caused by overuse of the knee joint. Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the knee.
Patellar tendinitis can be treated with a combination of rest, ice, and medication. Physical therapy may also be recommended to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the knee. Wearing a patellar tendon strap can also help relieve symptoms by taking some of the stress off the tendon. A knee brace may also be recommended to limit the amount of stress on the patellar tendon.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is the most common type of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage in the joints breaks down. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints. The knee is one of the most commonly affected joints in people with osteoarthritis.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are treatments that can help to relieve symptoms. Physical therapy, medication, weight management, and knee braces are all common treatment options for osteoarthritis. Knee braces can help stabilize the joint and take some of the stress off the affected area. There are a variety of different types of knee braces available, so it is important to consult with a doctor to find the best one for you.
There are a variety of different knee injuries that can occur, and each one requires its own type of treatment. Wearing a knee brace is often recommended for people with knee injuries. Knee braces can provide support and stability to the joint, which can help to speed up the healing process. There are many different types of knee braces available, so it is important to consult with a doctor to find the best one for you.