Knee Bracing for Different Types of Injury and Knee Wear

The knee is a joint that carries all of our weight at the stance phase of walking and is a joint that is vital to all mobility. The knee is a robust joint but, under extremes a certain fragility to some of the structures and there are common injuries that can happen to the knee. Thankfully, depending upon the injury, these problems can be overcome by bracing the knee. Alongside or instead of surgery, the options that people can take are dependent on the level and extent of injury and resultant disability. For sports people or those whose work involves high levels of activity, surgery is a preferred option and they along with those whose career does not depend upon having a `perfect` knee joint, a brace will help support the knee. There are four ligaments that hold knee joint together by linking the thigh bone (femur) to the other two bones in the lower leg, the shin bone (tibia) and its smaller neighbour, the fibula. These ligaments are: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) Posterior Cruciate ligament (PCL) Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) Medial collateral ligament (MCL) Of these, the most common ligament to be injured is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Injury is more common in women than men, and it is estimated that 10,000 people in the U.K. suffer this injury every year. The CTi® Custom Knee Brace is the gold standard brace, endorsed by leading surgeons and experts in knee rehabilitation. It is designed to support damage sustained to all the ligaments above, plus rotation and instability issues. It is used by professional sports people, and is made to measure. For Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the CTi® OTS brace will support the knee under all activities. It is usual to provide the ProSport version of the CTI® OTS to give the additional strength and control needed in high energy sports. With both of these braces, professional assessment and fitting is required to ensure the correct level of control is given. The other main condition that affects the knee is osteoarthritis. This is a wear and tear injury and usually occurs on one side of the knee initially. This is called uni-compartment knee osteoarthritis. Össurs Unloader® One brace is designed to reduce the load on the affected area of the knee, reducing pain, extending endurance and reducing the continual wear on the knee as the person walks. It is designed for people who have mild to severe osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, tibial plateau fracture, articular cartilage and meniscal cartilage repair, and is available for people of all sizes. A new high load brace is available for those who are overweight and need to return to activity to improve their weight control. For an unusual leg shape, the Unloader® One Custom, a made to measure brace, is available. For both of these, professional assessment and fitting is necessary. For less severe knee conditions, such as inflammation of the joint, mild osteoarthritis, meniscal tears, and mild sprains and instabilities of the MCL and LCL, and post-surgery, the brace of choice is the Gladiator BioSkin® Front Closure or the BioSkin® Gladiator Sport. These are both adjustable by the wearer and once assessed and fitted will enable return to normal activity in a reduced time. Ligaments and articular cartilage healing can take a long time, and it is so easy to do further damage it before it is fully restored. It is therefore, vital to consider using the correct knee brace to support the joint to aid healing and prevent further injury.

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