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Posts Tagged ‘unloading knee brace’

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.




New Unloader Knee Brace

There’s a new version of an effective and reliable knee brace to treat unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  The New Options Sports Wrap-Around OA Knee Brace is now available.

This off-loading knee brace is indicated for mild to moderate levels of knee pain caused by OA.  This knee brace comes in a wrap-around design, meaning patients do not have to struggle pulling the knee brace up or down their legs.  The knee brace simply wraps around and fastens with Velcro closures.  The patella buttress is designed to address secondary patella tracking issues.

This is a low-profile knee brace with thigh and calf paddles to offer some mild unloading of the knee joint.   The paddles work in conjunction with “lock down” straps that provide counter force.

The pull-up version of this unloading knee brace has been used effectively for years.  The wrap-around version makes it easier for patients to use and wear.  If you are considering a knee brace to treat your knee pain associated with arthritis, this brace is worth learning about.

Learn more about the New Option OA Knee Brace

Swimming Helps OA

Swimming Helps Knee OA


The more overweight you are, the more your knees will hurt.  You can try and mask the pain with drugs like NSAIDs and steroids, but at the end of the day your cartilage still takes an undue pounding every time you take a step.  You only have so much cartilage in your knee.  The more overweight you are, the more you compress the cartilage in your knee whenever you take a step.  Think about how your knees support your entire body weight as you walk.  If you are carrying extra pounds the best way to treat your chronic knee pain from OA is to shed some weight.

Losing weight isn’t easy but it is possible.  It’s not possible for you to spontaneously grow new cartilage.  A knee brace for osteoarthritis can be very effective for people trying to lose weight.  A common complaint among people who suffer from knee OA is that they can’t exercise because their knees hurt, so they cant lose weight.  An unloading knee brace can help treat the pain associated with knee OA so people can get up and moving.  Just walk or swim.  Your knees will thank you.

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.   



Joint Pain

Joint Pain

There are several reasons osteoarthritis affects the knee joint, though the most common is wear and tear.  Your knees take a pounding with every step you take.  If you were an athlete as a young person and ran around and jumped up and down a lot, chances are your knees are currently paying the price.  If you’re overweight, your knees have to absorb the added pressure of your additional poundage every time you stand up.  People that experienced traumatic knee injuries are also prone to osteoarthritis.  A lifetime of use is what got your knees into the shape they are currently in.

Now that I have OA, what do I do?  Well if you are newly diagnosed or even if you’ve had OA for years, one of your primary goals should be postponing knee replacement surgery.  Pain relief is crucial to your treatment plan but be careful how you achieve it.  Over the counter medications, narcotics, NSAIDs can all stop the pain but they also come with adverse side effects.  OA isn’t going to go away.  If you have it, you pretty much always will.  So consider long-term options for treatment.

Weight loss, stretching, and exercise are treatment options worth considering for knee osteoarthritis.  Go get some therapy if you’re not sure  how to go about rehabbing your knee.  But keep in the back of your mind, you want to stay off the operating table for as long as possible.  A knee brace for osteoarthritis is a great option for providing knee pain relief, in a safe and conservative manner, and postponing knee replacement surgery.  A knee brace can allow you to get up and moving without drugs or surgery.  Absolutely worth trying.





The KineSpring system unloads the medial compartment throughout a broad range of motion.

Moximed’s KineSpring system was developed as a surgical intervention for osteoarthritis of the knee that is not as severe as a joint replacement.  If the medial compartment of the knee is under abnormal stresses, it can lead to extreme knee pain.  This pain, and the osteoarthritis that causes it, is often treated with anti-inflammatories, rest, diet, exercise, and ultimately a partial or total knee replacement.  This final stage of treatment, the joint replacement surgery, is highly traumatic.  Joint replacements involve the removal of entire sections of bone to be replaced by metallic prosthetics.

Instead of removing damaged bone, the KineSpring system offers an implantable spring that could let the injured tissue heal.  The spring unloads the medial compartment of the knee throughout a broad range of knee motion, allowing high user function while promoting tissue repair.  This is especially important because knee motion is crucial to bone and cartilage growth.  If you are considering a medial compartment knee joint replacement, the KineSpring may be a less severe and similarly effective alternative.

But do not mistake this post as an endorsement of the KineSpring system for osteoarthritis of the medial compartment.  The KineSpring is a surgical replication of an orthotic solution.  In other words, a knee brace for osteoarthritis offers all of the benefits of the KineSpring system without the needless risk of undergoing surgery.  So if you suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, ask your doctor about orthotic solutions before you move on to surgical ones.  Braces are safer, less expensive, and far more easily removed than surgical implantations.


The knee joint is the connection between two bones, the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone).  The femur has two adjacent “condyles”, which are rounded portions that extend down to the tibia.  The tibia has two slightly cup-shaped sockets which meet the femoral condyles.

In healthy knee alignment, the femoral condyles rest evenly on the tibia, and apply nearly even pressure to both sides.  There are two types of knee deformities with asymmetrical force distributions: varus and valgus deformities.  A valgus (knock-kneed) deformity is where the knees are closer together than normal.  Valgus is more common than varus, and often occurs in overweight individuals.  A valgus deformity leaves a gap between the femur and the tibia on the lateral side, and increases pressure on the condyles on the medial side.  A varus deformity is where the knees are farther apart than normal.  Varus knees leave gaps between the femur and tibia on the medial side, and increase pressure on the lateral condyles.

These deformities are fairly common and lead to asymmetrical degeneration of the cartilage in the knee.  This means that  an osteoarthritic knee in valgus would have extreme damage to the medial side of the knee, and milder effects on the lateral side.

A medial knee brace for osteoarthritis is a tested and reliable treatment for knee osteoarthritis.  It is especially effective on an individual with a mild valgus deformity, because they have increased stress on the medial compartment.

OA and Knee Braces

October 10, 2012



Knee pain is treated with many different braces, depending on the source of knee pain.  Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common diagnosis, and can occur in several variations.  One common type is called “unicompartmental osteoarthritis”.  This means that the osteoarthritis primarily effects one side of the knee (usually the side closer to the other leg).  If you have this type of knee osteoarthritis, then a medial knee brace for OA may be right for you.

A medial unloading knee brace supports the weight the would pass through the injured compartment.  It also redirects some of the remaining forces through the other compartment of the knee.  This reduces the stress on the osteoarthritis.  The medial knee brace for osteoarthritis can help without restricting motion at the knee.  In fact a recent study by the Steadman Philippon Research Institute found that a medial unloading knee brace can improve function and reduce the need for pain and anti-inflammatory medications.

If you have persistent pain on one side of your knee, then the medial OA knee brace may be right for you.  Braces make great solutions because they are mechanical, and not physiological solutions.  This means that the side effects are minimal, and adjustments can be made as necessary without the risk of systemic problems.


What’s the difference between a medial and a lateral knee brace for osteoarthritis?  The difference between the two knee braces is what side of the knee joint the brace is trying to help.

An OA knee brace is intended to treat one side of an arthritic knee joint, either the medial or the lateral. Medial refers to the inside of your knee, lateral refers to the outside.  So a medial knee brace will decrease pain on the inside of your knee while a lateral OA knee brace treats pain on the outside of your knee.

The hinge and shells of these knee braces absorb the majority of your body weight as you walk and step.  However there is some transference of body weight to the opposite compartment of the knee joint.  So if you are wearing a medial brace, you are shifting more of your body weight to the outside compartment thus unloading the inside compartment of your knee.  That is why it is very important that you get the correct knee brace for your arthritic condition.  If you unload the wrong side you will end up putting more pressure on the side that hurts – that means more pain, not less.

How do you make sure you are getting the right knee brace?  Let the people trained in biomechanics and anatomy do their jobs.  Go see a doctor and get a specific diagnosis.  Have the doctor write a prescription.  Then take the prescription to a certified orthotist.