Offloading / OA Knee Braces
Am I suitable for an offloading knee brace?
Suitable for clients with medial or lateral knee compartment OA.
- Offloading knee braces are suitable for those with either medial (inside) or lateral (outside) compartment knee arthritis (not both).
- Most of the clients we see either are not suitable for a knee replacement, usually because they are too young to have a knee replacement, or their knee is not severe enough to have a knee replacement yet.
What is an offloading knee brace?
Offloads weight and pressure from an arthritic compartment of the knee.
- Decreasing the weight and pressure going through the affected compartment will in turn help to decrease the pain experienced from the arthritis and decrease the rate of wear and tear over time. This in turn extends the time until a knee replacement is required/keeps you functioning at a higher level with less pain until a knee replacement is required.
How do I get a referral and book an appointment?
- If you are interested in making an appointment you will require a referral from your treating healthcare provider (eg. GP, specialist, physio) and scans/diagnosis confirming where the arthritis is in your knee.
- Once you have a referral please give us a call to book an appointment.
- If you would like to know more about what we offer before getting a referral please give us a call to speak to one of our orthotists.
How does an offloading knee brace work?
- They function by placing firm pressure on the leg via a 3 point force system to offload the affected compartment and increase weight and pressure on the unaffected compartment. Eg. Decreasing weight and pressure on the medial compartment and increasing weight and pressure on the lateral compartment.
How much pain will it reduce in my knee?
The brace is designed to offload the arthritic compartment of you knee, which in turn decreases the pain experienced in the knee. The level of pain reduction is different for each client.
- Generally speaking if you have a high level of pain and we reduce the pain in your knee, you may still be in a low to moderate amount of pain.
- If you start with a low level of pain the knee brace may decrease the pain to a level you cannot feel anymore.
How long each day will I wear the brace?
How long each day you need to wear the brace depends on the severity of your knee arthritis. The knee brace is most effective when you are standing/walking/on your feet. As a result most OA knee braces are designed to be worn all day during the day and taken off at night. If you have mild arthritis you may only need to wear the knee brace during more strenuous / painful activities. We will discuss this at your appointment.
Will it fix the arthritis in my knee?
The knee brace will not change / improve the arthritis/wear that has already occurred within your knee. It is designed to offload the worn compartment of the knee, placing less pressure on the arthritic compartment will decrease the pain in the arthritis compartment of the knee and extend the life of the knee. This more the client wears the knee brace, the more likely the pain is to continue at a lower level when they remove the brace. Please note: if this occurs and you go without the brace for a period of time the pain will return to the previous level.
What clothes can I wear over the brace?
Most OA knee braces are designed to be worn either directly on the skin or under leggings. If you would like to wear the brace under trousers we recommend loser fitting or stretchy fabrics.
It will depend on the severity of your arthritis as to the size and length of brace required. The longer the brace the longer the lever arms and the more supportive the brace is.
Will I be able to do more in the brace? eg. walk further or run?
When you are first fitted with the brace we do not expect you to be able to perform any additional activities you haven’t been able to perform in the lead up to the brace being fitted. The goal of the brace is to perform the same activities with less pain and to reduce the wear in your knee over time, thus allowing you to stay at this level of activity for longer.
Some clients do reports they can gradually increase their activity level, however this is only after wearing the brace for a period of time and is individual to each client.
Do I require ongoing review appointments?
We recommend a minimum of two review appointments.
First review – 1 week after fitting: this is to check the fit of the brace, donning/doffing, and general skin/brace care.
- Second review – approx. 1 month after fitting: the fit of the brace can change within the first month. This appointment is to check the straps are optimally tensioned and the rest of the brace is still fitting correctly.
- Additional review appointment are available on request. If you have any rubs, questions or concerns regarding the brace please contact us and an additional review can be arranged if required.
Unloader One OA Knee Brace
Medial or lateral compartment knee arthritis
Wraparound OA Knee Brace
Low level medial or lateral compartment arthritis offloading
OA Adjusted 3 Knee Brace
Combined arthritis and ligament instabilities
If you already have a referral please call us to book an appointment
If you are interested in making an appointment you will require a referral from your treating healthcare provider (eg. GP, specialist, physio) and scans/diagnosis confirming where the arthritis is in your knee.