Knee braces offer support and stability to a previous injury, help alleviate aches and soreness in the joints, and prevent injury while participating in athletics. By assisting with movement of the joint, knee supports alleviate unnecessary stress and make common movements easier on the wearer
There are a variety of different styles of knee braces for athletes and individuals with varying degrees of knee injuries.
For the average person just looking for a little relief from minor aches and pains in their knees, a commonly used product would be simply a 'knee sleeve.' Typically, these braces are made from a soft, compression material that adds support to the joint while not affecting mobility. The compressive nature of this garment increases circulation through the joint helping with oxygen delivery as well as the removal of waste. These benefits help the wearer to recover from exercise faster and alleviate fatigue and soreness.
There are also braces that are designed for athletes that are recovering from a serious ligament (ACL, MCL) injury or from surgery itself. These braces are much more sturdy, usually incorporating steel, carbon or titanium hinges and shells to increase durability and strength. The braces are also designed to be anatomically correct for each leg and fit appropriately to stabilize specific ligaments. Ossur has an incredibly extensive line of knee braces that are individually tailored to relieve stress on the ACL, MCL, PCS for both rehabilitation and athletic performance.
For rehabilitation, a Continuous Passive Motion (or CPM) machine may be used to regain and increase range of motion of the knee without excessive strain. While in use, the patient's leg is strapped into the machine which gently bends and unbends the joint to stretch and exercise certain ligaments. This movement assists with rehabilitation and the overall healing process.