What is the Best Knee Brace for a Torn Meniscus?
Knee injuries and complications can make the most simple of tasks excruciating. Standing, walking, kneeling –– even sitting –– can become painful and difficult. A knee brace, in conjunction with your doctor’s treatment plan, can help you recover faster and help stabilize your knee to avoid further injury.
What is a Torn Meniscus?
Each knee has two pieces of cartilage called menisci that act as a cushion between the thigh bone and shin bone. A torn meniscus is a tear in one of these pieces of cartilage. It can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty with full knee extension.
A torn meniscus is a very common knee injury. This injury typically occurs due to repetitive twisting or rotating of the knee, especially among athletes.
However, even simple actions like walking, stopping, or turning can lead to an injured meniscus, especially among older adults with degenerative knees.
Treating a Torn Meniscus
If you have torn your meniscus, your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan for your particular situation. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, mild pain relievers, and physical therapy. However, in some serious cases surgery may be required.
If you’re experiencing pain due to a torn meniscus, a knee brace can help alleviate discomfort, provide protection from further damage, and can even aid the self-healing process.
Finding the Best Knee Brace for You
Once you start looking, you’ll realize that there are a lot of options for knee braces. When considering which is the right option, you’ll need to consider support, fit, material, and cost. It can be hard knowing what kind of knee brace to use for a meniscus tear.
To determine the best knee braces for your torn meniscus, your doctor first needs to determine whether your meniscus is torn on one side or on both sides (also referred to as compartments). If your meniscus is torn on one side, you will likely want to choose an unloader brace, which helps to reduce the weight carried by one side of the knee and relieve some of the pain associated with the tear.
If your meniscus is torn on both sides, you may have developer OA, or osteoarthritis, in both compartments of the knee. Therefore, a hinged knee brace offering medial and lateral support may be better for treating your condition.
Unloader Knee Braces
An update to the popular OA Thruster knee brace, the Legacy Thruster from Breg is designed to be lighter and smaller. The improved hinge is on the affected side of the knee, providing relief by pulling the straps to open the joint space rather than pushing against the opposite side of the knee. This brace is ideal for patients with moderate to severe conditions and is acceptable for all-day wear.
The Breg Fusion OA Plus was specifically designed for high-impact users, featuring a high strength frame that also provides an optimal unloader effect. This brace is ideal for patients who have medial unicompartmental OA associated with a torn meniscus. Constructed with 2024 tempered aluminum, this brace is lightweight yet durable.
Hinged Knee Braces
The Gladiator ACL Max from OPTEC is truly one of the best knee braces for a torn meniscus. This advanced knee brace provides the hinged knee support and stability you need following injury or surgery of the meniscus. The brace is features breathable liners coated with silicone to reduce slippage and help you maintain proper leg positioning to decrease pain symptoms while promoting maximum activity.
The Breg Economy Hinged brace is a more affordable way to get many of the benefits of a hinged brace without the high cost of the high end models. This brace utilizes an internal hinged skeleton to help manage mild knee injuries. It can help minimize pain, improve joint function, and most importantly help protect your meniscus cartilage.
Hinged Compression Braces
The DonJoy Neoprene Economy Hinged brace is perfect for those on a budget who need both compression and hinged support. It’s lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. The encased polycentric hinge provides moderate medial/lateral support. It helps stabilize the collateral ligaments. It improves joint function and protects the meniscus. The compression improves circulation and aids in the healing process.
The Breg Freestyle OA Arthritis brace is the ultimate compression hinged brace. This easy to use, comfortable brace provides compression to increase circulation and aid the body in its natural healing process. It indicated to provide support for meniscus procedures and repair. This hybrid brace improves joint function, decreases pain, and delivers support to your meniscus.
The Best Brace for You
So, what is the best knee brace for a torn meniscus? The simple answer is that there isn’t just one—it’s simply a matter of finding the best one for you. Choose a brace that fits your budget, treats your injury, and provides comfortable support that puts you on the road to recovery.