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what brace for ACL tear?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Related question to this thread -- http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...458#post431458 -- but don't want to hijack ...

I'm skiing on an injured ACL this weekend -- hurt it 3 weeks ago in a slow twisting fall. Certainly not a full tear; extent of injury currently unknown; having an MRI Thursday. Plenty of cycling and leg work since then and it feels lots better. I'll certainly go slow and careful whatever the MRI says. Doc says he may put me in a brace, and MRI may persuade my health insurance to pay for a fancy one, but that certainly won't get done by this Saturday.

So I'm thinking of just getting one of the $30 - $50 braces at the pharmacy. There seem to be two kinds - one just a simple neoprene sleeve (with variations - open or closed knee caps), and the other with a hinge or light metal support built in. Question is which of these two types would be best?

I've left the same question for the doc but who knows if he'll return the call. Figure some bears might have opinions / experience to share.
post #2 of 13
i finished up my racing career with a CTI on each knee.
while they looked cool as sh*t, they really were an overenegineered approach to a simple end.
the lennox was actually a far cheaper and often snugger unit. the eliminatiion of sag is key.
i can not say this enough: use a neoprene sleeve with a patellar cut-out, like the nice,cheap dr. scholls' stuff at the drugstore, with or without any brace.
the don-joy seems to be the best way to go, although certainly not the most expensive, these days. avoid the"custom" builds....they often fit them to your atrophied, post-op leg and then they fit for sh*t when you get your mass up.
post #3 of 13
I personally never found any sort of over the counter brace that did any good before I had my knee reconstructed. So I can't really help you there.


But after surgery - I certainly wouldn't avoid custom braces - Donjoy gives you a new brace within a year of original fitting if your leg's size has changed, exactly for the reason Vlad mentioned.

Plus - a custom brace is often fully covered by insurance.
post #4 of 13
by 'custom' i was referring to those which actually use custom-built components, such as the ole' CTI. the donjoy is a custom in that they assemble it to your specs from an assortment of premanufactured components. I prefer the don-joy, but i don't really consider it to be a custom. maybe i'm being antisemantic.....
actually, the OTC sleeves, (they're not actual braces) can be far more effective than an articulated mechanical brace.
of course, i have no original ACL,s MCLs, almost no meniscii to speak of and lotsa crabmeat in thar'.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
by 'custom' i was referring to those which actually use custom-built components, such as the ole' CTI. the donjoy is a custom in that they assemble it to your specs from an assortment of premanufactured components. I prefer the don-joy, but i don't really consider it to be a custom. maybe i'm being antisemantic.....
Are you sure? I have 2 Donjoy defiances, which they casted my legs for and created the carbon composite sections shaped just like my legs. I'm confused how that's pre-manufactured. Plus, when I had mine re-sized, they took the whole thing, re-casted my legs and sent me a brand new brace.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by altagirl
Are you sure? I have 2 Donjoy defiances, which they casted my legs for and created the carbon composite sections shaped just like my legs. I'm confused how that's pre-manufactured. Plus, when I had mine re-sized, they took the whole thing, re-casted my legs and sent me a brand new brace.
i stand corrected- sincere apologies
i was referring to the mass manufactured don-joy.
how's that thing working for you?
post #7 of 13
They're working pretty well. I've had both ACL's done and have some meniscus damage on one knee and a now healed MCL tear on the other. I'm back to skiing 5 days a week or so and my knees feel pretty good. I think my knees are both strong enough to go without the braces for normal skiing - but they're comfortable enough that I wear them now for the freak accident situations. Plus my doctor said with the meniscus deficiency I should keep wearing the left one in particular, pretty much forever as long as it's not inhibiting what I'm doing in sports with the potential for violent falls. Plus I think they offer protection in a lateral impact, hyperextension, etc., so why not?
post #8 of 13
my 'insult to injury' was finding out that lyme disease devoured what little was left of my meniscii, so walking is a weird chore, much of the time, let alone skiing.
i did get out on my board a couple weeks ago...
post #9 of 13
i had been skiing with i was told a totally torn acl for many years with those hinged store bought braces- hurt my knee again last year and got a don joy, had another mri also, insurance paid for all of it.just missed the one weekend skiing while waiting for it.
i feel confident skiing with it, make sure it fits snugly.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I got one of the store-bought hinged braces which seems to fit OK .... My insurance company and orthopedist are moving at the speed of molasses so at least I've got something to wear for Saturday's ski day. Can't stay off it any longer and the brace may provide support and certainly will remind me to take it a little easy.
post #11 of 13
BREG braces fit very well because they have precise measurements at critical datapoints, and the precise measurements render the casting unnecessary.

BREG braces are designed and made by the two guys who created Don-Joy.
post #12 of 13
I should have bought my ACL brace here:
http://www.kneeshop.com/hinged2.htm

Much better price for a real prescription brace for ACL instability.

I did buy a foot brace for achilles tendonitis from these folks and had good reliable service.

JonnyMo
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link.
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