Knee Brace Problems – Ratings & Reviews

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In this article we will be reviewing knee braces problems and solutions.  We will review these problems with you.

Knee braces of all kinds can be very effective in the way that they help treat knee injuries.  However, that does not mean that problems might pop up.

In our effort to be 100 percent transparent we wanted to create a post that talks about potential issues that you may run into when using a knee support.  Many companies do not want to talk about the problems that you may or may not have.  Possibly, this is because they would rather side step the issue.  Pretending that their knee supports are so good their patient’s do not have problems; but this is not true.

We know certain issues could potentially pop up and so we want you to be aware of them ahead of time.  That way you can be more prepared to deal with problems when they arise.

The Power of Good Information

After having read this article and watched the above video, you will be ahead of most people who deal with knee brace issues.  It is good information that you will most likely not get anywhere else.  You be the judge.

The following is a list of knee brace issues people have, as seen by our practice :

1.) Why Your Knee Brace Slides Down – How to Address This Chronic Issue

2.) Skin Issues As They Relate To Knee Braces

3.) Knee Brace Application Problems

4.) Gaining Or Losing Weight – How It Effects A Knee Brace Fit

5.)  Store Bought Braces

6.) Cost of a Knee Brace

7.) Weight of a Knee Brace

8.) When To Avoid Using A Knee Brace Entirely

Let’s start with one of the biggest knee brace issues that exists today.  A brace that slides down.

1.) Why Your Knee Brace Slides Down – How to Address This Chronic Issue

This is a very significant issue.  We notice it on patients all the time that are provided with knee supports that are entering or leaving a hospital.  Unfortunately, some of these individuals are not our patients and there are rules to walking up and helping them in public.  So, hopefully you will read this information here to get a better understanding.

There are many different kinds of knee braces, which you can get from an Orthotist or a doctor’s office. Regardless of where you go, the person who gives you the knee brace and who is “the professional” (whoever they maybe) is on the hook for getting you the right size and style.

Both size and style are important factors when getting a knee brace, obviously.  But even the right knee brace (otherwise known as a knee orthosis) can fall down.  But why?

It is important to note that you should always apply the person to the brace, not only the brace to the person.

You might be wondering that that means!

Is this guy super philosophical and this article is going to get into weird detail that I can not follow?

No, its not hard.  But if you want to learn why your knee support falls down, you gotta follow me along for a minute.

Your Leg Changes In Size In Different Positions, But Your Eye Doesn’t Pick This Up

Look at these measurements we took of a relatively athletic person’s leg at 2 different points.

This first measurement is of a person who has their leg on a table.

Do you ever put your knee brace on with your leg on a flat surface?  Like in a chair or on a bed, for example?  Most likely you do, especially if you were just in the hospital.  Most people do not put their brace on standing up.

So, we want to illustrate to you how your leg changes size and shape in different positions.

As seen in our video above, you now know that the force that can go up through the calf is enough to displace tissue / muscle just enough so that the shape of the calf for example can change.  From more of a pancake, if you will, to a more cylinder shape.

The problem comes is when you have your leg in this position (flat calf) and you put the brace on, you are not going to stay in this position forever most likely. Sooner or later you are going to pivot into a position where you are sitting or standing, and gravity can be introduced.

When those pressures aren’t there from underneath, your leg changes sizes in a way that is not even perceivable to your eye. However, when it comes to the knee brace, a quarter-inch or a half-inch is a big deal because it can easily fall, given 5,10 or 15 minutes for example.

Unfortunately it is is when gravity is introduced and your circumferences slightly decrease that the brace can fall down.  This is why someone’s knee brace is closer to their ankle than it should be as a result of their leg changing size. When gravity is introduced.

The next picture you will see below is of the same person standing up.  The measuring tape is placed in the same spot  (notice the same black horizontal line) and as you can quickly see the measurement has gone down.   Take a look.

The measurement went down from 17.25″ to 16.75″ in the second photo.  You might not think that is not a big deal, but after your knee brace falls enough times you might think again unfortunately.

So, what we tell our patients is to snug the brace up when they go to stand up, if everything is still in an optimal position and we will discuss that more later.

Now that you have seen an example of the calf, what do you think will happen if we did this same exercise for the thigh area?

The same pressures are exhibited on the thigh as they are on the calf.  So, as a result, you will soon see measurements that illustrate why the brace can become loose from the thigh section as well.

The first one we will show you is of the same person, with their leg on a table.  You can see their leg on the table in the background on the picture to the left, thus the occurrence of pressure on the calf belly.  That measurement at the black mark on the thigh is 21.5″.

So, in the pictures above, you can see that the thigh measurement changed from a more laying down position to a standing position from 21.5″ to 21.25″.  This is on someone’s knee that has little to no extra tissue.

The best solution is to snug up the knee brace, no matter what kind you have, when you stand up, or you are going to have chronic “migration” issues when it comes to you knee support.   It doesn’t matter which style you get, the issue will always be the same because the leg can change (and will) size and shape in different positions.

2.) Skin Issues As They Relate To Knee Braces

You also need to consider the need to monitor the brace and its relationship to your skin.  After reading section number one you will have less issues with skin irritations, but it could still happen.  Perhaps you were laying on the brace and it created a red spot.  Or the brace you bought at the store is not the right size, so it is rubbing on your knee for example.

You need to be able to recognize when there is a red mark that is not going away, because if it isn’t going away that means that there is a problem. It’s possible that the knee brace might have a little bit of pressure on your leg and you take it off and the problem goes away.  But you also have to be able to recognize “ok, this is a moderate issue that could get worse so I have to keep an eye on it”.

Sometimes there are situations where people can’t feel their legs one-hundred percent and everyone is different so you have to make sure to use your eyes to tell you how your feeling.  If the skin is irritated and the redness does not go away in a minute or two then it is time to call the knee brace provider.

3.) Knee Brace Application Problems

w there are many different kinds of knee braces so we can’t go into every one of them, but a good brace should have a circular disk that matches up with the center of your patella. In general, this is a good starting point when you are choosing a brace. You should always check with your doctor before taking any of the advice in this article. We are simply trying to help you understand how your leg changes sizes and how that might impact your brace. This is a problem that I see all the time, and it is a chronic issue, so I hope that this article has made you more aware of the problem. I hope this information was helpful to you and I wish you good luck with your knee brace.