Choosing the Right Knee Brace for ACL Surgery Patients

ACL injury from football is very common

ACL injuries from football are very common

The patients who opt for surgery are required to wear knee braces after surgery temporarily to provide support to the knee and helps in regaining the lost strength. But some former ACL surgery patients have chosen to continue using a knee brace for athletics, even after they have 100% recovered. According to the survey conducted by aclsurgery.us of 187 ACL surgery patients, 31% (58) said they still wear a brace, though they’ve fully recovered. 33% (62) said they sometimes wear a brace, and 36% (67) said they never use a brace. This means that approximately 2/3 of the people who have had ACL surgery still feel they need for a brace. And with the variety of braces in the market, how does one choose?

Knee Brace Survey

Knee Brace Survey

Different types of knee braces are specially made to suit the needs to ACL surgery patients. However, the best and the most widely recommended one is the braces with hinges and metal supports. The hinged knee brace covers the major portion of the leg i.e. from the portion above the knee to middle of the calf. It is specially designed to provide comfort to the injured ligaments as well as to prevent strain on those parts during the movement.

Some of the companies who specialize in the manufacturing of knee braces for ACL surgery patients are Donjoy, Breg, McDavid, Ossur, ProCare, etc. Out of these, Donjoy is the most popular as well as widely used brand for ACL braces. There are many models available in each of the above-mentioned brands and the price varies from brand to brand and model to model.

We will compare two knee braces: Donjoy Custom Defiance knee brace, and Breg custom LPR ligament knee brace which are specially meant for ACL surgery patients.

Donjoy Custom defiance knee brace:

Pros

  • It offers maximum comfort to the injured ligaments due to its custom fit feature.
  • Over 40 different choices in colors and graphics.
  • Mechanism to control the flexing and extension of the knee.
  • Manufactured by most trusted and widely used brand.
  • Wide range of supporting accessories.

Cons

  • Higher price than competing brands

 

Breg Custom LPR ligament knee brace:

Pros

  • It is designed with light weighted aerospace aluminum in order to stabilize injured ligaments.
  • Provides great protection as well as comfort to the knee.
  • Comes with airframe padding, which allows the moisture and heat to move away from the skin.

Cons

  • Absence of Mechanism to control flexing and extension.

Even though it is listed at $950 it can be availed at a special price of $759 from braceshop.com.

You can also find many affordable braces on following websites:-

  • braceshop.com,
  • betterbraces.com,
  • dme-direct.com, etc

While you can save money ordering online, it comes at a risk, however, as it may not fit as precisely as you want. And the fit is key to protecting your knee and avoiding future injury. So, the best way to buy the right knee brace is to try on different braces in order to determine the comfort and support abilities of each brace. This is best done in a major metropolitan area where you can drive to a variety of brace carriers. It may take a little effort, time and money in travelling around to find the best brace for your knee, but if protecting your knee is a high priority, it may be a wise investment.

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4 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Knee Brace for ACL Surgery Patients

  1. I had a recon surgery on my left knee month ago.do I really need a knee brace.I have one knee brace that bends is that ok to wear?

  2. Hi Roselyn, I asked the knee surgeon for the Portland Trail Blazers this question and his response was that those soft braces are worthless and that the rigid ACL-custom braces are almost useless too.

    For some, maybe it gives them psychological security to trust their knee more which could be good for some people. For others, it might give a false sense of security. He said you’ve have to have a custom brace fitted perfectly for your knee and even then there’s slack and play in the joints which won’t 100% prevent knee injuries. There are many moving parts in a knee, including the skin which moves, so strapping on a sturdy brace to keep the skin from moving and to get absolute stability when you are running and suddenly stop and twist is difficult to accomplish through an artificial device. It also needs to not encumber your mobility and be lightweight.

  3. Tucker Hofmann says:

    Hi I’m seventeen and I play football. I’ve torn the acl in both my knees and I still want to play football. I have a metal brace but I want to use something lighter for trainning and conditioning. Should I look into mesh stabilizers or stick to the metal brace?

  4. I had my right knee ACL recon done on 10/12, less than 2 weeks ago. I developed a severe allergic reaction from the customed brace the hospital provided (best hospital in the area). I had 3 emergency visits to Dr.. The itch and brun are worse than the pain from surgery. The chain effect of this contact dermititis resulted in red hives/rash in leg and even several half an itch blisters around tagaderm tapes. The hospital took out my bandages (no surface protection on incision cites) at day 4. My surgent said that I will not be able to wear brace at all. I am only using crutches and am so nervous of re-damage my new ACL. Is there any non-latex, non-foam or allergenic brace in NYC area? Ant advise on how to successfully rehab without brace?

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