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Support and Brace Support and Brace


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Archive for the ‘Unloading Knee Braces’ Category

These are the instructions on how to fit a knee brace indicated for osteoarthritis.  Learn more about this unloading knee brace:  New Option OA Knee Brace.



Remove the OA brace from the bag and align it over the affected knee as a point of reference.





Undo the top and bottom straps, open up the thigh closure and calf closure and remove the patella buttress to where the brace is now open.





Place the open brace behind the leg and center with the knee joint, making sure the hinge joint is even with the patella. While supporting the brace with one hand, use the other hand to affix the calf closure. Re‐adjust tightness as needed.





With the calf closure secured, affix the thigh closure. Again, re‐adjust tightness as needed.






The OA hinge should be aligned with the patella and should be opposite of the affected side. In this example, this is a left knee, medial OA patient.






Secure the lower strap in two phases. First, pull strap out and away. Then, to secure it, affix the strap to the velcro hook tab (see arrow) on the inside of the brace before you go through the D‐rings. Once adhered, now go through the D‐ring and secure.





Repeat the same procedure with the thigh strap. This will insure that the hinge arms are now engaged and that the 7 degree offset is pushing at the joint line to open the opposite knee joint. This two‐step phase of strapping at the calf and thigh is the key step in the OA brace offering relief.





Lastly, adhere the patella buttress by affixing the tabs on the hinge side first, pulling across, centering the patella within the buttress, the securing the other two tabs on the opposite side.




Knee Brace Undersleeve

February 12, 2016


Why do I need to wear an undersleeve?  A neoprene under sleeve is designed for people who wear bio mechanical knee braces to treat osteoarthritis.  The undersleeve helps keep the knee brace from migrating, and also cuts down on the wear-and tear on your knee brace.  A neoprene undersleeve will also provide warmth and compression to an arthritic knee.  That will make the knee feel better and provide additional support and protection.


An unloading knee brace is designed to provide knee pain relief for people with unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  This means a person has knee pain on one side of their knee or the other.  Usually the knee pain affects the inside (medial compartment) of the knee.  The condition comes from years of wear and tear on the knee joint.  An unloading knee brace provides warmth, compression, and some gentle pressure to the knee joint.

A knee brace is not a cure for Knee OA, but a knee brace like this will buy some time for people looking to postpone knee replacement surgery.  This is a conservative treatment option that can’t hurt to try.




The Stride OA is an interesting knee brace.  This knee brace is designed to provide knee pain relief from osteoarthritis.

What makes this brace unique is that it is always applied to the lateral side of the leg (it is always on the outside).  This means there isn’t any hardware, like hinges or thigh shells, rubbing between anyone’s legs.  This is a big deal for people whose thighs are close together.  This knee brace will provide pain relief for Knee OA.  It is lightweight and low-profile.

The Stride OA should be fit by a certified orthotist.

Learn more about knee braces for OA knee pain relief.


A neoprene undersleeve is helpful for anyone wearing a knee brace for osteoarthritis or a functional knee brace.

A neoprene undersleeve will help keep a knee brace from rotating or migrating on the leg.  It can also make a knee brace more comfortable to wear by providing some cushion between the hard shells of the knee brace and the soft tissue on the thigh or calf.

A neoprene undersleeve should be perforated (have little holes in it).  The little holes allow air to cool and dry the skin as well as make the neoprene breathable.  The perforations make the sleeve more comfortable to wear.

An undersleeve will also protect the liners of your knee brace from sweat, dirt, and grime.  This will make your knee brace last longer and make it more hygienic for extended use.

Purchase a neoprene undersleeve.


A knee brace for arthritis.

Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief

An Unloading knee brace is indicated for people with unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  That means the knee brace is for people with arthritis that is affecting one side of the knee joint compartment, not both.

Knee braces for Osteoarthritis have come a long way in recent years.  It wasn’t long ago that off-loading knee braces, had to be made from heavy carbon graphite or metal alloys.  But technology has come so far so fast that now these knee braces can be made from lightweight materials like, neoprene and nylon.

Most patients with osteoarthritis do not tolerate heavy knee braces for very long.  Though the knee braces can relieve pain, when worn for hours they can cause fatigue and make a knee tired.  So many unloading knee braces wind up at the bottom of the closet because patients do not wear them.

In many cases a neoprene brace with a simple hinge is all that’s needed.  A custom knee brace which can cost over $1200 can be overkill.

Consider what the knee brace is being used for.  If the patient isn’t climbing telephone poles or playing contact sports carbon graphite and complicated strapping systems probably aren’t needed.  Use the right tool for the job.  If the patient is just going to the store, driving a car, and going about normal activities of daily living a neoprene sleeve with a simple hinge will provide warmth, compression, and some gentle unloading.

Learn more about knee braces for osteoarthritis – click the link.



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.   




The Stride OA is a knee brace designed to relieve the knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.  What makes this knee brace an effective treatment option for OA is that it only has one hinge, and that hinge is always going to be on the outside of the leg.

The most popular unloading knee braces have one hinge, not two.  Two hinges make a knee brace bulky and uncomfortable.  Think about a metal bar rubbing the inside of your legs raw.  What makes the Stride OA unique is that the single hinge is always positioned on the outside of the leg.  This is important.  Most single hinge knee braces require that the hinge be positioned on the affected side of the knee.  This means the hinge goes on the side of knee where the knee pain is.  Since most people suffer from medial compartment OA (pain on the inside of the knee), most people receive unloading knee braces with hinges on the inside of their legs.  The Stride OA always, always, always has the hinge positioned on the outside of the leg.

So for the vast majority of people who suffer with knee osteoarthritis, the Stride OA is going to be a comfortable, and effective treatment option.  And for patients with arthritis in both of their knees the Stride OA may be their only option.  Think about trying to walk with two metal bars strapped on the inside of your knees banging against each other.

Easy-to-use buckles secure this brace to the leg.  The cuffs are durable yet conform easily to a variety of leg shapes.  That means the knee brace will provide pain relief and be comfortable.

Learn more about the Stride OA.

Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief


Millions of Americans have high deductibles.  Deductibles on many health insurance policies have become prohibitive.  Reaching a $4500 out-of-pocket deductible isn’t feasible for many of us.  So if you’re prescribed an unloading knee brace for your osteoarthritis, what do you do?  A custom knee brace can cost as much as $1200, an off-the-shelf OA knee brace can easily run $700.  If you haven’t met your deductible payment for this type of durable medical equipment will have to come out of your pocket.

There is a simple way to handle this.  20 years ago, knee braces for osteoarthritis had to be fit by certified medical professionals.  Knee braces were custom built from positive cast molds of individual patient’s legs.  Over the years knee brace manufacturers have improved their techniques of designing effective knee braces that can fit and treat a wide array of patients and conditions.  All you need to know is the circumference of your thigh and which side of your knee the arthritis affects.  Ask your doctor if the arthritis is on the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of your knee.  You can order an inexpensive, high quality brace over the internet.  If you have questions, email your doctor the product information.  Ask your doctor if the brace is right for you.  You shouldn’t pay more than $175 for an unloading knee brace purchased over the internet.

You can also try a simple neoprene sleeve.   An arthritis knee sleeve will provide warmth and compression to an arthritic knee.  That will make your knee feel better.  A knee sleeve can cost under $20!

Knee Support

Knee Support

Knee Pain Relief

Unloading Knee Brace


We get a lot of questions about knee braces being sold on e-bay and Craig’s list.  Let’s be clear.  Do not buy someone else’s knee brace for osteoarthritis.

Knee braces for osteoarthritis can either be custom built for a specific person, or off-the shelf.  If you are looking to buy a custom knee brace that someone is selling on-line the only way it will work is if you are the same exact size as the person who the brace was built for,  your arthritis affects the same knee, in the same exact place.  The chances of that are remote.

Now if you buy an off-the-shelf unloading brace you may have a little more success, but not much.  You still have to be the same size of the person who previously wore the brace, the arthritis must affect the same knee, and in the same exact place.  Your odds of having a successful outcome are still slim.

Buying a used knee brace is like buying someone else’s socks.  The liners of the brace were up against the person’s skin.  There’s sweat, dead skin, bacteria…is the money you save really worth it?

A new knee brace for osteoarthritis can cost you as little as $149.95.