Knee pain affects approximately 25% of adults. That's around 82,059,880 people! While the causes of knee pain vary from injury to OA, the effects on daily life can be significant.
Don't let knee pain leave you on the sidelines. With care from a medical professional and the right equipment, you can be back in the game.
A hinged knee brace is a great companion to those suffering from knee pain. Several types of hinged knee braces address post-surgery, OA, and sports injury needs.
Keep reading to find out how to improve recovery with a hinged knee brace.
Why Use a Hinged Knee Brace?
Hinged knee braces provide more support than other kinds of knee braces. Since they have side supports, they also protect from further injury.
Hinged knee braces prevent unwanted side-to-side motion and hyperextension. They help improve the range of motion and offer support to those with unstable knees.
If you're suffering from OA, a hinged knee brace could offer relief from knee pain.
How to Choose a Hinged Knee Brace
Selecting the right brace for you doesn't have to feel overwhelming. Before you choose a hinged knee brace, ask yourself the following questions.
What's Your Budget?
The higher-priced hinged knee braces will provide more stability and protection. They may also be more comfortable and last longer.
Can Your Skin Breathe?
The material should allow your skin to breathe while still offering support. Materials should be of good quality, but comfort plays a big role. Select material that will agree with your skin and movements.
Does It Come On/Off Easily?
Will removing your shoes to take the brace on and off annoy you? If so, you may want to steer clear of a sleeved hinged knee brace. Instead, opt for a velcro-strapped option.
IsYour Patella Under Pressure?
If your knee feels uncomfortable pressure from the top, you will be more comfortable with an open patella-hinged knee brace. On the other hand, if you'd rather have patella (knee-cap) protection, pick a brace that covers it up. The phrase "open popliteal" means the brace has an opening around the patella.
Do You Need a Four Point Leverage System?
A four-point leverage system supports the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) by using four specific places for leverage. Points one and four provide anterior (from the front) support. Points two and three support from the opposite side of the leg (posterior).
The first point is a cuff on the thigh and rotates the tibia from the front (anterior). The second point, a cuff above the calf muscle, counteracts this pressure. This point allows tibia rotation from behind (the posterior)
Point three is a strap that connects to the hinge bars. This draws in the kneebars from behind. Counteracting point three, the fourth point is a front strap below the knee. This draws the brace hinge in and allows tibial rotation from behind.
This four-point leverage system can reduce ACL strain by 50%. Weak or recovering muscles surrounding the ACL benefit from this system.
1. DonJoy Playmaker II Knee Brace
The DonJoy Playmaker II Knee Brace provides support and protection for those with ACL, MCL, LCL, Meniscus injuries, and hyperextended knees. Soccer, baseball, and basketball athletes with mild to moderate ligament injuries benefit from this brace as well.
Designed with comfort, convenience, and support in mind, the DonJoy Playmaker II knee brace will help you stay in the game.
- The Hi10™ fabric is designed to provide maximum comfort and a personalized fit.
- Advanced Spacer Fabric (New from DonJoy) helps wearers stay cool during any activity level
- Easy to adjust with molded strap tabs (only available on Drytex material) and secure comfortable fit
- Wraparound style makes it easy to wear and adjust without removing shoes
- Open around the patella
This strap-on-style knee brace uses the four-points-of-leverage system to further protect the ACL.
2. DonJoy Sport Economy Hinged Knee Brace
This brace provides light support for day-to-day life or sports activity. Those with MCL, LCL injuries, general knee pain, mild OA, torn meniscus, patella instability, or contusions should try the DonJoy Sport Drytex Economy knee brace.
This brace offers padding and cover for the embedded side hinges. This feature makes it available for situations where hinged knee braces are usually not allowed.
The Drytex Economy is available in wraparound or sleeve style. Neoprene and Drytex material with a cut-out behind the knee makes this brace comfortable during activity.
- Padded and unexposed hinges are ideal for those who can't wear exposed hinged braces
- Removable polycentric hinges with 10-3/4" aluminum uprights
- Neoprene and Drytex provide a comfortable and secure fit
- Cutout behind the knee prevents bunching and provides airflow
- Easy to take on and remove
- Available in wraparound or sleeve style
- Thigh strap and calf strap give extra support during activity
- Buttress can be added for extra support to the patella
- Open around the patella
The Drytex material is only available in a wraparound design.
3. DonJoy OA Reaction Web Knee Brace
This knee brace is ideal for those with early or mild osteoarthritis (OA). Those with narrowing joints spaces will benefit from the Donjoy OA Reaction Web as well.
The OA Reaction Web knee brace from DonJoy provides support and comfort during mild to moderate exercise. Wear this brace if you're an OA sufferer who likes to golf, play tennis, walk, or run. The OA Reaction Web provides support for everyday activities as well.
Its breathable web design allows you to keep moving with comfort. The OA Reaction web is made from patented silicone material that helps it stay in place.
- Patented silicone material provides a non-slip cup effect
- Silicone web technology provides shock absorption
- Open around the patella
- Lightweight and low profile makes it easy to wear with almost any outfit
- Wraparound, adjustable, four-way design is easy to take on and off
- Web design is open and lightweight providing maximum airflow
The DonJoy OA Reaction Web knee brace provides the most lightweight and open design of any other OA knee brace available.
4. DonJoy Bionic Fullstop Knee Brace
The Bionic Fullstop knee brace is perfect for those recovering from ACL injuries. This pull-on knee brace can also be worn preventatively to protect from knee injuries.
The Bionic Fullstop prevents hyperextension with dampening hinges on either side. The dampening hinges also serve to improve the joint mechanics of post-surgery and injured knees.
- Pull-on style
- Adjustable straps for a personal fit
- Anti-migration technology prevents unwanted movement
- Hinge prevents hyperextension
- Four Point leverage system prevents hyperextension
- Compression and thermal heat regulation
- Reflective properties can be seen in low-light conditions
- Open around the patella
Adjustable straps help wearers personalize this hinged brace fit. Anti-migration technology helps it keep from slipping out of place.
5. DonJoy Reaction Web Hinged Knee Brace
The DonJoy Reaction Web is a companion to indoor, outdoor, water, and land athletes. Its unique web design shifts weight away from painful areas of the knee. The web and hinges work together to absorb shock, allowing wearers to keep on moving.
This brace is worn by professional football players, volleyball players, snowboarders, and the US Ski Team. You don't have to be a professional to enjoy the benefits of this brace. Runners, golfers, walkers, hikers, tennis, and soccer players will enjoy the DonJoy Reaction Web knee brace.
Those with Osgood-Schlatter Disease and Meniscus tears should check out the Reaction web hinged knee brace. The Reaction Web also helps those with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Chondromalacia Patella (Runner's Knee).
Suffering from Quad or Patellar Tendonitis? The DonJoy Reaction Web hinged knee brace can help you. This brace is also designed for those with general Patellar tracking issues and instability.
- Web design shifts weight away from the pain area and absorbs shock
- Lightweight construction consists of elastomer. No neoprene or latex.
- Comes with optional undersleeve (85% nylon, 15% spandex) for added comfort.
- Easy-to-use velcro straps on top and bottom help stay in place.
- Open web design provides breathability.
- Can be worn on the right or left knee.
If worn with the undersleeve, the patella is covered. However, without an undersleeve, this brace does not cover the patella.
7. ProCare Reddie Hinged Knee Brace
The Reddie hinged knee brace by is suitable for those with milder injuries or support needs. If you've had a mild MCL or LCL sprain (or both), the ProCare Reddie is for you.
Those with post-arthroscopic meniscectomies or mild OA will also benefit from the ProCare Reddie hinged knee brace. This brace is also recommended for those with mild global instabilities and/or hyperextended knees.
The ProCare Reddie works by stabilizing collateral ligaments and medial and lateral meniscus.
- Made of neoprene
- Wrap around style makes putting on and taking off convenient
- Back of knee cut-out prevents sweat accumulation and bunching
- Open popliteal only
- Adjustable straps allow for a personalized fit
- The posterior strap allows for one-time proper hinge positioning
- Removable polycentric hinges give medial and lateral support
ProCare and DonJoy are owned by the same parent company, DJO. ProCare reflects the same high quality as DJO products.
The Best Hinged Knee Brace for You - In Conclusion
A hinged knee brace can help those with soreness, sports injuries, or OA.
Knee braces with a webbed design are great for land and water sports. The webbing also allows for added ventilation during wear.
Padded, concealed, and removable hinges provide more versatile options for some athletes.
At Ortho Bracing, we have a variety of braces for the knee and cryotherapy products for the knee. We carry the very best brands, including Bregg, DonJoy, ProCare, and Aircast. Enjoy free shipping when you order $149.00 or more.
For more content on knee injury prevention and recovery, read on:
Best Cold Therapy Units for Faster Recovery
What Is Cryotherapy? Benefits, How to Do It At Home or a Clinic
Cold Therapy for Arthritis: Benefits & What to Know