They may be small, but almost everything you do requires your knees. So when you experience an injury, or undergo knee surgery, trying to go about your day-to-day activities can be pretty tough. But that’s where knee braces come in! After an injury or surgery, knee braces can be instrumental in aiding your healing. But further than that, some braces can even be used proactively to prevent injuries.
If you’re thinking of getting a knee brace, below are the five main categories of braces and how they can help you.
1. Functional Braces
After you’ve suffered a knee injury, your doctor may prescribe you a functional brace. These are typically made of soft, malleable materials that will help keep your kneecap and other joints in place, and prevent additional injuries. People may choose to slip these on months or even years after their initial injury, during periods of intense exercise or while playing sports.
2. Rehabilitative Braces
Many doctors will recommend patients wear rehabilitative braces for several weeks, immediately following knee surgery. These are typically stronger, sturdier braces that are just meant to be worn while in recovery.
3. Unloader Braces
These braces shift, or “unload” weight from a damaged area of the knee to a stronger area. They’re typically used by people who have arthritis in their knee.
4. Prophylactic Braces
These braces are used to prevent an injury, especially in high-risk, contact sports, like football. They’re usually made of bars, hinges, and adhesive straps and are designed to absorb shock in the event of a collision. Essentially, you can think of them as a helmet for your knee.
5. Knee Sleeves
While this isn’t technically a knee brace, it’s one of the most common types of knee support. This compression sleeve slides right over your knee and allegedly protects you from certain types of injuries. Though scientific evidence backing sleeves is a bit lacking, million of people, especially professional athletes, swear by them.
If a knee brace isn’t the answer to your bone and joint pain, seek help from a professional orthopedist. Orthopaedic Specialty Group is the largest and most experienced orthopedic practice in southern Connecticut. Our expert team of doctors can fix virtually every bone and joint in your body. Schedule an appointment online, or call us at (203) 337-2600.