Functional knee braces
Description: Functional knee braces are designed
to keep your knee safe for various activities of daily
life if you have knee instability issues. They are
rigid in design and typically extend 6-8 inches above
and below your knee. Your leg will be measured or
casted for an appropriate fitting brace. They are
contoured to the shape of your leg to provide you
maximum protection yet allows your knee the ability
to move through the intended range of motion. The
range of motion in the brace is adjustable to protect
various tissues in your knee. They are lightweight
and simple to put on. They can be worn under your
clothes so they can be easily concealed if you want.
Indications: ACL, PCL, LCL, and MCL instability
Proper wearing: A functional knee brace is
best applied while sitting on a chair with a slightly
bent leg. Line the joints of the brace with the height
of your knee cap. Apply the top calf strap snuggly.
This strap is important for suspending the brace on
your leg. Then attach the other straps on the brace.
Make sure that the joints of the brace are straight
on your leg and not internally or externally rotated
on your leg.
Knee Unloader Braces
Description: Knee unloader braces are braces
specially designed to unload the medial or lateral
compartment of your knee, depending on what is indicated.
They are lightweight and typically have a joint on
only one side of your knee. The brace is designed
to take stress off the affected side of your knee
functionally realigning your knee. The brace can be
worn under your clothes so it can be easily concealed
if you want.
Indications: Meniscal tears, osteoarthritis
Proper wearing: An unloader knee brace is best
applied while sitting on a chair with an extended
leg. Line the joint of the brace with the height of
your knee cap. Apply the top calf strap snuggly. This
strap is important for suspending the brace on your
leg. Then attach the other straps on the brace. Lastly
apply the functional corrective strap snuggly around
your leg and pull snuggly or applies the corrective
force on your leg.
Neoprene Knee Braces
Description: Neoprene knee braces are designed
to provide your knee with additional stability and
intra-cavitary compression. The compression helps
relieve some types of knee pain. They come in a wide
range of sizes and typically have a relief spot for
your kneecap and the back of knee so you can bend
your knee comfortably. Some knee neoprene knee braces
are equipped with metal hinges integrated on the side
to provide additional support.
Indications: Arthritis, swelling, general knee
Proper wearing: Neoprene knee braces are designed
to be worn under your clothing. The knee brace must
be pulled to the proper height for it to function
properly. Your kneecap must be resting in the relief
opening for proper function. Once the brace is pulled
to the proper height on your knee, then the velcro
straps can be attached.
Adjustable Range of Motion (ROM) Knee Braces
Description: Adjustable ROM knee braces are
designed to limit the range of motion your knee is
allowed to move through. The settings can be adjusted
to fit your individual needs. They have a soft foam
liner with a rigid exterior frame to support your
leg. This off the shelf brace is custom fitted to
you by your orthotist.
Indications: Post-surgical, ligamentous tears,
Proper wearing: When applying your brace at
home, place the brace on your leg while sitting or
lying down. Position the joints of the brace in line
with your kneecap and attach the foam liner together.
Next, use the velcro straps to secure the brace onto
Description: Knee cages are sturdy braces designed
to keep your knee from hyper-extending. They are lightweight
in design and have a hinge on either side of your
knee, which allows free motion at the joint. They
provide pressure behind your knee to prevent the knee
from hyper-extending. They are designed to provide
support for your knee to prevent further progression
of ligamentous and tendon laxity.
Indications: Quadriceps weakness, genu-recurvatum
Proper wearing: The knee brace must be placed
at the proper height on your knee. Position the joints
of the brace in line with your kneecap and secure
the straps snugly. The brace may be worn over or under
Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (KAFO)
Description: KAFOs are sometimes referred to as long leg braces. These braces extend from your foot to your thigh and provide stability at the foot, ankle, and knee. They are custom made to your leg by casting and measurements. Depending on your mobility level, they may be designed to have a locking knee or free moving knee. Most KAFOs are made of contoured plastic with metal joints at your knee. A wide range of options are available on KAFOs so they can be custom tailored to your needs.
Indications: Paraplegia, post-polio syndrome, femoral nerve denervation, Duchene’s Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, genu-recurvatum, multiple sclerosis, CVA spina bifida, Inclusion body myositis
Proper wearing: KAFOs are best applied in a sitting down position. Slide your leg back into the brace. Before securing the straps, ensure that your heel is all the way back in the foot piece and the kneecap is in line with the knee joint. With the brace on, slip in your shoe. Once the brace is secured on your leg, stand up and check to see that the knee joint is locked before taking your first step. These braces are designed to be worn over your pants so that the knee joints can function properly.
Stance Control Orthosis (SCO)
Description: SCOs are similar to KAFOs because they are long leg braces that utilize a knee joint offering knee stability for safer walking. These more advanced braces allow your knee to bend to help with foot clearence while walking. SCOs provide a straight and stable knee during stance phase and a bent knee during swing phase. The braces can weight activated, ankle activated, or gait activated depeding on the style. An advantage of SCOs is that they allow a patient to walk more efficiently.
Indications: Paraplegia, post-polio syndrome, femoral nerve denervation, Duchene’s Muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, genu-recurvatum, Multiple sclerosis, CVA, spina bifida, Inclusion body myositis
Proper wearing: KAFOs are best applied in a sitting down position. Slide your leg back into the brace. Before securing the straps, ensure that your heel is all the way back in the foot piece and the kneecap is in line with the knee joint. With the brace on, slip in your shoe. These braces are designed to be worn over your pants so that the knee joints can function properly.
Plastic Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)
Description: A plastic AFO is a lower leg brace that encompasses the foot, ankle, and calf. They are custom made to your leg by casting and measurements. Plastic AFOs can be utilized by a wide range of patients. Some purposes of the plastic AFO are to prevent foot drop, provide ankle stability, prevent back knee, and reduce tone. They fit inside your shoe when you are wearing one. Plastic AFOs are very customizable to meet your orthotic needs.
Indications: Stroke, CVA, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, drop foot, general weakness, guillen-barre disease, spina bifida.
Proper wearing: Slide your leg back into the brace and secure the calf and ankle strap ensuring the heel is all the way back into the foot piece. Once the straps are secured, slip in your shoe. These brace are designed to go under your clothing with a long tube sock between you and the brace.
Carbon graphite ankle foot orthosis (AFO)
Description: A carbon graphite AFO is a thin low profile AFO designed for active patients with none to mild ankle instabilities. They are usually prescribed to the individual that suffers from drop foot. The brace has a thin foot plate with a strut extending to a calf piece that is secured with a strap. They are very lightweight in design and allow motion at the ankle.
Indications: Foot drop
Proper wearing: Place the brace in the shoe with the insole lying on top of it. Slide your foot into the shoe and secure the calf strap.
Surestep SMO (supramallolar orthosis)
Description: Surestep SMO’s are low profile braces that extend just above the ankle bone. They provide foot and ankle support for kids who are hypotonic. These orthoses are flexible enough to allow the child to run and play yet supportive enough to provide the necessary support they require. They are custom made and can have a variety of graphics imprinted on them.
Indications: Low tone children
Proper wearing: Insert the foot into the brace and secure the velcro enclosures snugly. Socks should always be worn. Then apply the shoes over the brace.