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Knee Brace fitting today....Tips?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 



Apparently the warranty on on my body is up so things are starting to go.  Left knee is particularly worn out.  


Getting fitted for a "real" knee brace today.  Anyone have any tips when it comes to features / fit etc etc?



post #2 of 12

Is this a measurement or a fitting of the brace you keep?


For the fitting itself -

There are different side pads (with and without a skin-side ridge to "lock" it in place)  - if it is uncomfortable or slips, have the fitter try another kind.


Try it with your ski boot, make sure it does not pinch against the top of your boot.  (I guess that is relevant for measurement, too.)


A remarkably small position change in the underneath strap just above the knee makes a difference in whether it pinches or not.


When you start wearing it -- the side pads are basically held on with velcro.  I didn't realize how easy they were to remove, and nearly lost mine the first time I went skiing.  Fortunately it was in the trunk of my car.  Kept the brace in its own mesh bag, not loose in my ski bag, after that.


I used my brace all last year and was very happy with it.


Ski pants with a full side zipper make the hassle factor much lower.

post #3 of 12

I took my ski boots in with me to make sure it wouldn't interfere with the cuff of my liner.


Make sure they know what you want to do in it.

post #4 of 12

Probably a casting. Is this for ACL? OA? If latter, make sure the range of correction includes, but goes beyond, what your ortho wants. Knee alignment changes and these are too $$ to keep replacing them. If former, make sure the limits of motion are realistic for skiing. And yep ^^^ wear boots with insoles in so your angles are true to the ski slope. 


If not a casting, make sure you have room to adjust for growth and individual curves/shapes. We all tend to gain cross sectional area over the course of a season, but if it's already sloppy, not gonna be that much change. Like a boot, easier to work with something too tight than too loose. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Good stuff.  What is a casting?  Also - forgot my boots.  Du-oh!  Can I get away without them?

post #6 of 12

If you don't know yet, probably not relevant. It's a cast they make of your knee area to produce a mold for the brace. Nevermind.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well THAT was a giant wast of time.  Over $1000 for a crappy brace that looks like it was made out of recycled chinese aircraft parts fitted by a huge fat dude who did not know the difference between a ski boot and a car boot.  


Looking at this. $310. Thoughts?



post #8 of 12
That's a shame. The one you link looks similar to mine. See the pad in the second photo? That's the one I had to swap to a flat pad. The calf piece of many of these comes in regular and short versions. You need short to fit above a ski boot.

My fitter was good but all he really did was measure circumference in a few places. The online place probably has a tutorial or could walk you through it.
When he came back to deliver it, he showed me how to put it on, adjusted the straps, tried alternate pads, showed me how to change the range of motion stops, and slightly bent one of the upper arms to fit better. It was nice to have but I think I could have done it myself (just slower and with more doubts).

I think beyond is talking about a fully custom brace, another step up in cost. They offered me one but it was not clear if insurance would cover it, so I didn't.

By the way, there are several brands that all look similar. I think mine is a don joy but it isn't here so maybe not.

Good luck.
post #9 of 12
I wear a drug store stretchy sleeve on the other knee to protect against banging my knees together. The hinge sticks out a ways.
post #10 of 12

I looked online for a knee brace a few years ago.   There are so many models and price points I was unable to pull the trigger.  I went to Sports Authority and bought a hinged one for $60something.  IT works really well for me, but I am left wondering if the $500 ones I saw online would be many times better.

post #11 of 12

The braces that are Rx, and involve casts or other custom fit approaches will give you more support because they have better mechanics relative to your own body. For instance, a loose or slightly misaligned brace made for "medium" or "large" will largely negate the basic function; in the time it takes for the slightly loose brace or bad angle to finally begin to resist force, your joints already had to. The pricy ones also last longer because they use higher grade materials. But unless you have a real orthopedic condition that your doc says will benefit from a brace, its largely a placebo, maybe will reduce fatigue, whether from the big box store or the hospital. Building up your muscle groups that support the knee is a way better use of time and $. 

post #12 of 12

1) why are you getting a brace?

2) do you have a Rx for it?
3) what do you wanna do with it?
4) how much are you willing to spend?

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