Bracing: Chronic Knee Pain


Bracing can be a useful tool to reduce pain, reduce injury risk and improve performance. Braces and supports are available for every joint of the body, however we will focus on the knee which is a region of the body that has many effective bracing options.

Bracing for the knee tends to fall into two categories; those looking to reduce pain and increase function with activities of daily life. Alternatively, bracing can be useful for a more active population looking to perform sports that put significant demands on the knee, such as skiing – and looking to reduce injury risk whilst doing so.


Bracing for chronic knee pain – especially related to degenerative joint changes/Osteoarthritis(OA)

For those suffering from chronic knee pain as a consequence of a degenerative knee joint disease, and looking to manage pain, increase function and potentially delay or prevent surgery – there are great options available to you. We work closely with one of the leading brace providers; Enovis Donjoy (formerly DJO).

Donjoy offer an several  offloading brace for the knee; this is a brace created especially to offload

These types of braces can be adjusted manually to take load of one side of the knee and are especially useful for many individuals who have degenerative changes in mostly one of the two compartments that we have in our knee.   It can offer patients significant improvements in day-day life, significant decreases in pain and a subsequent improved ability to perform all weightbearing activities.  If you think this may be right for you – please let us know and we’d be glad to talk it through to you. More information can be found

A recent study described offloading braces as “an economical and effective treatment for unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis. They can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and potentially delay the need for surgery. Patients should be managed with a multidisciplinary approach with conservative management and knee bracing, before surgery is considered”.

Enovis DonJoy have produced a series of OA specific braces; including the OA Nano and OA Full Force . Donjoy have put together an excellent patient handout describing how their braces work;

It’s important if you’re considering a brace you talk it through with an expert first.


Intense activity Bracing

Bracing can also be utilised  in a more active sporting  population – it’s a great way for those who want an additional  layer of protection to their knee. Often those who have had prior issues with their knee , or are recovering from an injury or surgery )  can benefit from bracing to reduce risk of reinjury. It’s worth remembering however that bracing is an adjunct and should not be considering as a standalone solution.

Enovis DonJoy are the market leaders in intensive sporting braces; especially for those who have suffered cruciate ligament injuries. DonJoy produce a range of braces including the Renegade, Defiance and Armor – all designed to allow safe, pain free return to high level sport with an additional level of knee specific protection.

In  brief these type of braces they work by reducing  adverse, uncontrolled movement of the knee joint and prevent excessive loading. You will need to discuss your history and requirements closely with your Physiotherapist to determine which brace is  appropriate for you.

DonJoy have put together an excellent patient handout describing their ACL braces;

DonJoy knee braces are recommended by the ATP and American Institute of Sports trainers – there is a full list of evidenced literature available on their website via the above link and we would be delighted to discuss your bracing needs with you and demonstrate some of the braces available.

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