The Knee Brace Review

So we can discuss many different kinds of knee braces which can be supportive for many different knee ailments.  In this article, the basics of knee supports will be discussed.  Millions of Americans experience knee pain for many different reasons from injury to the knee to chronic inflammation from processes such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 

The knee is a complex joint and many structures can be damaged with a blow or twisting of the knee.  Many athletes unfortunately may experience knee injuries which include anterior cruciate ligament tears, meniscus tear, or medial collateral ligament strain/ tears.  These injuries require more lateral stabilization of the knee joint with a hinged knee brace. 

Hinged knee brace example:

                    

Another injury commonly seen in athletes or with trauma is patella dislocation or subluxation.  These injuries commonly occur with the patella or knee cap shifting laterally disrupting the stabilizing structures on the inside or medial aspect of the patella. 

Patella stabilizer brace

                    

Patella stabilizer with hinges for lateral support

                    

Patellofemoral syndrome and patella tendonitis are common aliment in the knee.  With Patellofemoral pain syndrome is generated from overuse of the knee and often mechanical or alignment issues in the ankle, knees, or hips which put stress on the knee. 

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee caused by overuse, weak thigh muscles (quadriceps), or a problem with the way the kneecap moves. Extra weight may also cause this syndrome. The patella is the kneecap, and the femur is the thighbone. Some people may have pain in the front of the knee from a condition called chondromalacia, in which the underside of the knee cartilage wears down and frays. Cartilage is a rubbery tissue that cushions joints.

In some cases, the kneecap does not move, or track, in a normal way. You may have knee pain when you run, walk down hills or steps, or do another activity. Sitting for a long time also can cause knee pain.

Your knee pain may get better with medicines for pain and swelling and exercises to make your quadriceps stronger

Patella strap or knee band

                    

Knee Compression Sleeve

                        

Chronic knee pain in an older patient typically greater than 45 years of age can develop Osteoarthritis of the knee which is the thinning or loss of the articular cartilage.  Osteoarthritis can cause pain, swelling, instability symptoms, and stiffness.  If the loss of cartilage is localized to the medial or lateral compartment of the knee; knee unloader braces may but helpful, but often a knee compression sleeve or hinged knee brace provides comfort and support. 

Knee Sleeves provide basic protection and are great for mild knee pain, sprains, osteoarthritis as described above, tendonitis, cartilage irritation, andknee swelling. Knee sleeves are simple to use and put on. The come in a few general knee support forms with the open patella or knee cap, open popliteal area in back, open over the patella and popliteal area, closed in front and back, or there are knee sleeve with side stabilizers.