Categories

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Knee Brace

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Knee Brace

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Knee Brace

Walk and move with more confidence using a knee brace! Knee braces are structured to offer compression, helping reduce the direct pressure from the upper leg on a damaged meniscus or torn ligament. The added pressure of a knee brace will also improve your circulation. The increased blood flow brings more oxygen to the injured area which assists with the healing process.

If you're looking to purchase a knee brace, we’ve provided a few things to consider when choosing the brace right for you.

How Do Knee Braces Work?

Your knee joint is made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. With a considerable range of motion, the knee joint can carry a lot of weight. The structures in your knee however can become damaged or dislocated. Your knee can be injured due to an intense blow during athletic activities or may be susceptible to an injury due to an underlying condition.

Different types of knee braces differ based on their function and level of support. While some knee braces are designed to protect the knee to prevent damage, others support the knee to control pain. Knee braces can also help stabilize the knee if it's prone to injury and immobilize the knee to optimize healing after an injury.

How to Choose the Correct Knee Brace Size

To ensure you get the benefits from the knee brace that you seek, you must measure for the correct size. When measuring, make sure you are standing up with your leg straight. If you are doing the measurement yourself or are unable to stand, sit on the edge of a chair with your leg straight out in front of you and your heel on the floor. Take a look at the individual sizing chart for the specific brace you are ordering to see where measurements should be taken.

To ensure the best fit, watch this video and see how to fit a knee sleeve with open patella

Be mindful about how the brace is applied to your knee. Some braces require you to slide it up over your foot and calf while others might open fully to be secured around your knee. If applicable, make sure the straps are tight enough to prevent movement but not so tight that the knee brace cuts off circulation.

Hinged Knee Brace vs. Compression Sleeve

A hinged knee brace can support and stabilize an injured knee, limiting movement while your knee heals. Hinges on each side of the knee help prevent hyperextension of the knee and offers protection of ligament injuries. It may also reduce pain and pressure if you have arthritis in your knee. Hinged knee braces are best for knees that need extra support.

Hinged knee braces come in two forms: rigid hinged and soft hinged. A soft hinged knee brace provides mild to moderate support whereas a rigid hinged knee braces provide moderate to maximum support and offer better protection and stability for contact-sports.

Rigid Hinged Knee Brace

rigid hinged knee brace

Sammons Preston Tri-Panel Knee Immobilizer

Features thick popliteal padding with a mesh, breathable interior. Built with three rigid posterior stays and two adjustable medial and lateral stays with moveable side panels for optimal positioning. Includes easy-to-use hook and loop closures for a safe and secure fit.

Soft Hinged Knee Brace

Soft Hinged Knee Brace

Rolyan Wraparound Hinged Knee Brace

Made of 1/8" neoprene with soft cushioned liner for warmth, compression and durability. Features open patella with sewn-in universal buttress and open popliteal area to eliminate bunching. The hinges are molded into the brace to maintain a low profile.


Increase your ability to perform your best during training and sports with a knee sleeve! A compression sleeve is designed to offer the least amount of support and can be used for conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis. Best for pain relief when remaining fully active, these knee sleeves are flexible and can easily fit under clothing for daily comfort.

RolyanFit Knee Sleeve Designed to provide therapeutic warmth, compression and support to the knee joint area. The open cutout over the patella improves patella tracking, which in turn reduces knee pain. Made of neoprene, the sleeve helps retain body heat and provides even compression without restricting knee mobility.

How Often Should You Wear A Knee Brace

When you first slide a knee brace on, it is recommended to wear it for at least one week. Consider giving your leg a break by taking the knee brace off while sleeping. On the other hand, your doctor might instruct you to wear your knee brace while in bed. The movement in your sleep could undo what surgeon fixed, therefore you need to wear it to avoid further injury. Follow your doctor's recommendations and consult with them before increasing or decreasing the time during which you wear it.

Additional factors to consider when determining how often you should wear a knee brace are as follows:

  • Wearing your knee brace for unnecessarily long stretches of time can cause skin abrasion
  • Limiting your range of motion while wearing your brace can result in muscle atrophy or joint stiffness
  • Taking off your brace before your knee joint is ready can impair healing and lengthen the time required to wear one
  • Neglecting to wear it when you are susceptible to an injury could possibly lead to further knee damage

So, be sure to check with your doctor and follow their advice.

knee brace

Conclusion

To find which knee brace works best for you, ask your doctor to examine your knee. A doctor will know best if you should use a hinged knee brace to help keep your joint stable or if you should use a compression sleeve to help with mild pain.

Remember, you'll want to have a feeling of tightness in your knee when using a knee brace. The brace should feel comfortable and provide a level of support necessary based on your individualized needs. However, if the brace is uncomfortably tight and you're losing circulation, loosen the straps or choose a bigger size.

References

  1. Luks, H.J. (2019). Knee Replacement Surgery Alternatives. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/34iXHAH
  2. Anonymous. (2008). To Brace or Not to Brace. Rehab Management. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3i11iHI
  3. Anonymous. (2020). How to Choose the Right Knee Brace. McDavid. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2QUbKF5

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.