Osteoarthritis (OA) and Unloading Knee Braces

Osteoarthritis (OA) and Unloading Knee Braces

Osteoarthritis (OA) and Unloading Knee Braces

Unloading or off-loading knee braces are used to reduce the forces on a specific compartment of the knee. They are used to decrease pain and increase mobility and function. They decrease the rate of degeneration in the affected compartment in cases such as osteoarthritis (OA) and post-surgery for example post meniscal repairs they unload the compartment giving the injured site time to heal.

  • Reducing your knee pain
  • Reducing your pain medication intake
  • Improve your function
  • Prevent further damage to the site
  • All return to activities

Indicated for

  • Uni-compartmental OA (osteoarthritis)
  • Meniscal and cartilage repairs – pre and post – surgical intervention
  • Degenerative diseases of the knee

Contraindications

  • Multiple compartment OA

Mild

Rebound cartilage

The Rebound Cartilage is usually used for meniscal or articulating cartilage damage. The benefit of this brace is that it can be used pre – and post- surgery. The Rebound Cartilage is a single hinged knee brace that uses a 3-point force system to unload the affected compartment of the knee giving it time to heal. Hinge placement is depended on the compartment affected.

  • Easily adjustable to allow unloading during different stage of the rehabilitation process.
  • Easy to don and doff by using colour coded clips.
  • ROM can be adjusted depending on the Rehabilitation stage.

Indications

  • Uni-compartmental meniscal and cartilage injuries.

Mild to Moderate

DJO OA Reaction Web

This brace is designed with its own unique silicone Web Technology. It is designed to be comfortable as well as provide a non-slip fit. The breathability and open framework improve compliance of the brace.

Indications:

  • Mild to moderate Uni-compartmental OA

Össur Formfit Pro Knee OA

This compressive knee sleeve is designed to unload the effected compartment of the knee in early stages of OA. The brace has CoolVent technology to improve wicking away moisture, keeping the knee cool during the wearing period. Hinge placement is depended on the compartment affected.

Indications:

  • Early to mild Uni-compartmental OA
  • Medial or later knee pain.
  • Symptomatic, Uni-compartmental meniscus degeneration

DJO OA Nano

The lightweight OA Nano is designed for people to stay active and move freely. The flexibility of the magnesium frame allows for an intimate fit while still unloading the desired compartment.

Indication

  • Mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis
  • Ideal for older patient due to the lightweight frame.

Moderate to Severe

DJO Adjuster 3

This is a durable and functional Unloading knee brace. It provides ligament stability and is used for all levels of activity. The floating hinges allows for a contoured and personalized fit. The brace is made of Aircraft-Grade aluminium. Unloading can be adjusted depending on the severity.

Indications

  • Mild to severe OA
  • Ideal for more physical work requirements

Össur Unloader One X

The Unloader One X is a single hinged knee brace that uses a 3-point force system to unload the affected compartment of the knee. Hinge placement is depended on the compart affected. It is an exceptionally light weight brace, with durable rubber cuffs that allows for a contoured fit against the leg.

  • Easily adjustable to allow unloading during different types of activities.
  • Easy to don and doff by using colour coded clips.

Indications

  • Moderate to severe Uni-compartmental knee osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative meniscal tears
  • Other knee conditions that may benefit from Uni-compartmental unloading

Ottobock Agilium Reactive OA Knee Brace

The Agilium Reactive OA is a single hinged knee brace, placed on the outer side of knee. This is a lightweight brace that can be used for all activities.

  • Easy to don and doff
  • Ideal hinge placement can be achieved

Indications

  • Mild to severe OA
  • All activity levels

Frequently asked questions

Will the brace take away my pain? 

An effective offloading knee brace should reduce your painful symptoms, but they are not always the final answer to all your knee problems. For OA knee pain, an appropriate brace, weight loss and a prescribed e.g.  body strengthening program have been proven to be most effective. The knee brace helps to unload the damaged compartment which should in turn allow for more activity.

The goal is to:

  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce swelling
  • Reducing the intake of pain medication
  • Reducing the progression of the damage being done to the knee
  • Improve function and mobility

Is the knee brace going to weaken my muscles? 

The knee brace unloads the injured site. This allows you to use all your muscles and not restrict activity, therefore it does not weaken the muscles groups in your knee (NB it is depended on what the requirements of the knee brace is). We always recommend seeing a physiotherapist during the rehabilitation process, but this should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

How long will I need to wear the brace for?

This depends on the reason for the brace prescription but in most cases it is an investment in your health as this brace will be worn for long periods of time as they generally are used by patients with osteoarthritis and are worn for extended periods to reduce pain and allow function potentially avoiding or delaying knee surgery/ replacement.

Can I replace the straps should they brake? 

All the soft goods on these braces can be replaced and are bought separately should you require replacing them in the future.

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