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Archive for December 26th, 2014

Simplicity

 

An analysis of randomized trials shows that valgus knee bracing for medial knee osteoarthritis results in small-to-moderate knee pain relief.

Moyer, PhD and Birmingham, PhD published in Arthritis Care and Research (online abstract).  Their objective was to evaluate the effects of valgus knee bracing on pain and function, compliance and complications, in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis.

Six studies were included in the meta-analysis.   Overall, there was a statistically significant difference favoring the valgus brace group for improvement in pain and function.  When compared to a control group that did not use a knee brace, the effect size was moderate for pain and function.  When compared to a control group that used a control knee brace, only a small, statistically significant effect for pain remained.  Instructions for brace use varied considerably and compliance ranged from 45% to 100%. Up to 25% of patients reported minor complications with brace use.

So what does this mean?  It means that people who experience knee pain from osteoarthritis benefit from an arthritis knee brace.  And it could very well mean that the less complicated a brace is the more likely a patient will actually use it.  Comparing a valgus knee brace to different types of OA knee braces only showed a small improvement.

This data might suggest that valgus bracing with complicated strapping systems, or designs (like double upright braces constructed from carbon graphite with complicated hinge mechanisms) may not be as effective as a simple brace that people can easily slide up their legs.  So keep it simple when choosing an unloading knee brace.

The OA Knee Brace from Heritage Medical Equipment is a simple and effective valgus knee brace.  This unloading knee brace is easy to use and wear.  The top and bottom of the brace open independently so it is easy to pull up the leg.  A low profile hinge provides knee pain relief, while a donut buttress ensures proper positioning.