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Knee Brace for Skiing

What is a Knee Brace?

A knee brace for skiing is a support tool that is usually made of combined elastic materials, such as neoprene, plastic and foam. This normally helps by:

  • providing structural support to prevent further damage to an injured knee
  • favoring healing processes by limiting knee range of movement
  • alleviating pain and discomfort in daily life or sporting activities

When is a knee brace for skiing useful?

You may need a more advanced knee brace if you have sustained a knee injury such as an MCL or ACL tear. It can also be helpful for a previous meniscus injury. You may also need a knee brace for skiing after knee surgery, to provide extra support and stability.

If you suffer from long-standing knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis, you may find a knee brace useful to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

If you are an athlete with some knee pain that bothers you during physical activity, a more simple knee brace may be indicated.

Fixable Hinge Knee Brace:

Picture of Hinge Knee Brace

This is a more rigid type of brace that helps stabilize your joint. It has two hinges and two metal bars on each side of the knee. There is a simple mechanism that restricts the allowed joint motion, which can be increased during rehabilitation. Your therapist can place pins where the two bars meet to limit the amount of knee bending or straightening during skiing. It is useful for people waiting to get an operation, with the goal of preventing further damage to the knee, or for those recovering from surgery, with the goal of favoring healing processes. However, it may also be used by people who opted for conservative management of a knee injury. Overall, this brace is indicated for anyone in the need of more structural support either in their daily life or to play a certain sport, such as skiing, football, or tennis.

Spring-loaded Knee Brace:

Picture of spring knee brace

This is similar to the brace described above, but it comes with a fixable hinge mechanism. The distinctive feature of this one is the addition of a spring system at each side: this allows to reduce the load absorbed by the knee joint during daily life tasks, such as walking, squatting or climbing up and down the stairs. You should think about it as the suspension mechanism of a bike or a car. This brace is indicated for people suffering from knee arthritis, as the spring mechanism can help to considerably off-load the knee joint and provide pain relief.    

Sleeve Knee Brace: 

Picture of a knee sleeve

This is a different type of brace from those described above, as it is non-mechanical in nature. This means that it does not have hinges or springs to provide mechanical support to the knee joint. However, it may be beneficial for patients seeking an easy solution for pain reduction. It is thought that the compression effect from the sleeve improves symptoms and function in people with knee arthritis. It may also be worn by athletes with complaints of knee pain during running, jumping or changes of direction. This brace is not a viable solution if you suffer from knee instability.

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