What is an unloader knee brace?
An unloader knee brace is a brace that is specifically designed to put three points of pressure on the thigh bone forcing the knee to bend away from the painful area in the joint. They are used to unload pressure from one side of the join to the other, from the affected side to the healthier side. Unloader knee braces are made of moulded plastic, foam and steel struts to stabilise the knee joint.
What are the advantages of an unloader brace?
The unloader brace is advantageous as it provides an economical and effective treatment for unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis. It can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and potentially delay the need for surgery. Before surgery, knee bracing is considered as it may decrease pain and improve function along with improving quality of life. Knee bracing is a safe and cost effective non-operative treatment and could delay or even replace the need for surgery.
Is this for me?
Unloader knee braces are often prescribed for people who have medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. This is arthritis that affects the inner portion of the knee. In this situation, knee instability can make the knee wobble toward the inside of the leg when walking. This is only helpful if you have another healthy joint in the knee to assume the load.
Does it hurt?
Unloader knee braces provide you with comfort that allows you to improve your mobility and diminish pain when at rest. Do not get mistaken into thinking this is a cure to a disease of the joints however it helps to decrease stress on the joint while receiving treatments.
Will I have to wear a knee brace all day?
If you have a taxing job or training schedule you might need to wear your knee brace every day. During runs a band or a strap-based brace might need to be worn. Increasing and decreasing of the time during which you wear the brace will vary between cases and you will be advised by us for how long you will have to wear it.
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