Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Osteoarthritis is the wear-and-tear type of arthritis that commonly affects the knees of older people. The bottom of the thighbone has two large knobs, and osteoarthritis can affect one of the knob surfaces more than the other. This unequal damage can cause or worsen a malalignment that may make your stance look knock-kneed or bowlegged.
As the damage progresses, this malalignment worsens. A knee brace can take pressure off the part of your joint most affected by osteoarthritis and help relieve pain. If your knee feels like it might buckle when you put weight on it, a knee brace can also help you stand and move around with more confidence.
For osteoarthritis, a knee brace is usually combined with other treatments — such as medication and physical therapy.
- 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.