Do You Really Need a Custom Knee Brace?
A custom fitted knee brace seems enticing since it involves numerous trips to an orthotist who makes a mold of the leg and takes numerous measurements. However, scientists have shown in numerous studies that this is not necessary. With the advent of computer generated biomechanical studies of the human knee in motion, engineers have been able to design knee braces that can provide exceptional stability without the inconvenience of multiple office visits and awkward adjustments. These new generations of knee braces are known as off-the-shelf models. Probably the most important contribution of these off-the-shelf models is that they will save you hundreds of dollars.
Two important studies have proven that the off-the-shelf knee braces provide the same protection as custom fitted knee braces. One study completed at the University of Michigan revealed that custom fitted knee braces did not prevent more motion of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficient knee than an off-the-shelf knee brace. In fact, after one hour of use, the custom fitted knee brace came loose more often. Another interesting study at the University of Vermont looked at four different knee brace manufacturers and their effect on strain of the ACL during surgery. The results confirmed the previous study’s findings. Both studies had the exact same conclusions “There were no apparent advantages of the more expensive custom-made braces compared with the off-the-shelf designs.”
Researchers at two universities concluded that you can help stabilize your knee with a simple and convenient off-the-shelf knee brace and have confidence that it will protect your knee the same as the expensive custom fitted knee brace. Obviously, there are always exceptions to these conclusions. Some of the exceptions may be, but are not limited to, anyone with growth deformities or traumatic deformities to their leg. In addition, patients with severe nerve damage or open skin ulcers may be candidates for a custom fitted brace. If you are in doubt, always consult your personal physician.
WisdomKing.com takes pride in the fact that we provide you with Knee Supports and Braces and other products that have proven efficacy. One such knee brace would be our Ossur Innovator DLX(TM) Post-Op Knee Brace that was only available through custom fitting in the past. The newly released Ossur Innovator DLX(TM) Post-Op Knee Brace will provide your knees with the same great protection at a price hundreds of dollars less.