A new type if knee brace for osteoarthritis has been put onto the market. You can read about it here. This is a summary about it
the world’s lightest* off-loading knee brace at 14.2 ounces for patients with mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis.
Great you may be thinking- just the job! But please read this before you rush out and spend money on a knee brace for osteoarthritis. Not everyone should use one and even if you should use one you shouldn’t wear it all the time.
Should Everyone Use a Knee Brace For Osteoarthritis?
You should only use a knee brace for osteoarthritis if you have moderate or severe degeneration. (If you are not sure what grade you have please ask your healthcare professional). There is good reasoning behind this. If you have mild OA then the soft tissue should be able to function fairly normally as the joint will not be deformed or misshapen yet. If you splint with a knee brace for osteoarthritis you will weaken the soft tissue further and irritate it by not moving it and so make your pain worse.
When Should You Use Knee Brace for Osteoarthritis?
You should not splint all the time but just for those aggravating activities. If you splint all the time you end up with weak muscles that are unable to do their job and when they are asked to do something they give a lot more pain. They will also be in a really bad state if you have a knee replacement, making a longer rehab time and increasing the chances of a poor outcome from the surgery.
If you have moderate or severe degeneration and can manage without any splints at all for the moment you are better off in the long term. However if you feel that splinting really helps then do use one for any activity that you know REALLY aggravates the your knee and take it off immediately afterwards.
That, to me, makes this new knee brace for osteoarthritis a complete waste of time as it is aimed for people with mild to moderate degeneration who shouldn’t be using a knee brace for osteoarthritis at all!
Rather than spending a heap of money on knee braces like this one I recommend the Thermoskin Open Knee Wrap Stabilizer– it is less than $50 from Amazon and will wash and last you ages.
But remember the best knee brace for osteoarthritis are strong muscles, tendons and ligaments around the knee.