Hinged knee braces lie at the top end of the spectrum of knee braces with varying levels of support. The other two knee brace categories are compression knee sleeves and knee supports or stabilizers. Compression knee sleeves provide the lowest level of support and are usually slip on (as opposed to wraparound). Knee supports (or knee stabilizers) provide some support, usually through metal or plastic stays on both sides of the knee. However, their level of support is still less than that of hinged knee braces. Knee supports can use either the wraparound or pull on design. Hinged Knee braces have hinges on either side of the knee to provide the maximum amount of support while allowing the knee to maintain its natural style of motion. In this post, we will address 3 hinged knee brace questions normally asked by patients who are about to start wearing one of these braces.
Hinged knee braces are more effective at reducing pain while supporting the knee and protecting against (re) injury.In addition to their greater degree of support, hinged knee braces also prevent the patient from hyper extending the knee, i.e. from extending it beyond the straight position. Some hinged knee braces go further by allowing the patient to set the angle through which the hinge will allow the knee to bend. The featured photo above illustrates an example of this in which the patient uses pins to set the knee’s range of motion.
In this post, we will address 3 questions normally asked by patients who are about to start wearing a hinged knee brace, and provide some suggested answers:
Is It OK To Wear My Hinged Knee Brace All Day?
This is one of the most commonly asked hinged knee brace questions. You should definitely take care to wear your hinged knee brace whenever participating in a sporting or athletic activity or any thing that will place stress on your knees. However, you will not lose anything by wearing the brace all day long. The more time that you spend wearing the brace, the greater the support your knee will have and the greater the therapeutic benefits you will gain.
Is It OK To Wear My Hinged Knee Brace Over Leggings?
This should be OK if your leggings are very tight but if they are loose, the brace will not be able to stay in its correct position. This will in turn make it less effective as a source of support and pain reduction. Ideally, you should wear the brace against your skin whenever possible. Some braces are designed to respond to the moisture from your skin by adhering more firmly to it (e.g. the SkinLok™ feature of BioSkin braces). Patients should definitely avoid wearing leggings with these types of braces.
Should I Wear My Hinged Knee Brace To Bed?
This is another of the most popular hinged knee brace questions. In general, you should not wear your brace to bed. You can put them on just before getting out of bed and take them off once you have gone to bed. While you are in bed, you will not need the support offered by your hinged knee brace.
In this post, we have addressed 3 of the most commonly asked hinged knee brace questions. Should you have any further questions about these braces, you can consult our other post on Knee Brace Questions & Answers, or submit a question in response to this post.