RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
Risks of knee braces may include:
- Discomfort wearing the brace. A knee brace may feel heavy, bulky and hot at first.
- Skin irritation or swelling. The skin under the brace may become red and irritated if your knee brace fits poorly. Some people also experience swelling around the joint.
- Lack of benefit. Studies of knee braces for people with osteoarthritis have been limited, and results have been mixed. Some people experience no benefit. Others report diminished pain and increased function.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed May 14, 2013.
- Brouwer RW, et al. Braces and orthoses for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004020.pub2/abstract. Accessed May 14, 2013.
- Segal NA. Bracing and orthoses: A review of efficacy and mechanical effects for tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. PM&R. 2012;4:S89.
- Gross KD. Device use: Walking aids, braces and orthoses for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2010;26:479.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed May 15, 2013.
- Squyer E, et al. Unloader knee bracers for osteoarthritis: Do patients actually wear them? Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2013;471:1982.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 15, 2013.