Knee Bracing

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Mechanism of action

  • Redistributes the load across the knee and decreases the magnitude of the load on the knee .
  • Corrects malalignment of the joint.
  • Increases joint stability.
  • Lessens muscle co-contraction.
  • Improves proprioception.

Additional Information

  • May be prescribed when knee OA primarily affects just one compartment of the joint, which is most commonly the medial compartment.
  • Conservative treatment approach.
  • Proposed to have many beneficial biomechanical effects and improve quality of life.
  • Low cost alternative that may delay or prevent the need for total knee replacement.
  • Braces may be categorized as either a valgus brace, neutral brace, or pneumatic brace.


  1. Arazpour M, Bani MA, Maleki M, Ghomshe FT, Kashani RV, Hutchins SW. Comparison of the efficacy of laterally wedged insoles and bespoke unloader knee orthoses in treating medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. Prosthetics and orthotics international. 2013;37(1):50-7.
  2. Brouwer RW, van Raaij TM, Verhaar JA, Coene LN, Bierma-Zeinstra SM. Brace treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee: a prospective randomized multi-centre trial. Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society. 2006;14(8):777-83
  3. Callaghan MJ, Parkes MJ, Felson DT. The Effect of Knee Braces on Quadriceps Strength and Inhibition in Subjects With Patellofemoral Osteoarthritis. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2016;46(1):19-25.
  4. Cherian JJ, Bhave A, Kapadia BH, Starr R, McElroy MJ, Mont MA. Strength and Functional Improvement Using Pneumatic Brace with Extension Assist for End-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis: A Prospective, Randomized trial. The Journal of arthroplasty. 2015;30(5):747-53.
  5. Duivenvoorden T, Brouwer RW, van Raaij TM, Verhagen AP, Verhaar JA, Bierma-Zeinstra SM. Braces and orthoses for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2015;3:Cd004020.
  6. Moyer RF, Birmingham TB, Bryant DM, Giffin JR, Marriott KA, Leitch KM. Biomechanical effects of valgus knee bracing: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society. 2015;23(2):178-88.
  7. Moyer RF, Birmingham TB, Bryant DM, Giffin JR, Marriott KA, Leitch KM. Valgus bracing for knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized trials. Arthritis care & research. 2015;67(4):493-501.