Jul 26, 2014

Knee Injury Treatments & Orthotics

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Knee Injury Treatment

The knee is an area of the body that plays a major role in allowing one to engage in the wide variety of motions required in everyday activity as well as participation in sports. Considering the amount of stress we put on our knees every day, it is not surprising that many have suffered knee injuries, be it during an athletic activity or simply due to the wear and tear of aging.

Treating Knee Injuries

Of course, treatment for knee injury varies depending upon the type of knee injury as well as the individual.

For example, a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can only be repaired via surgery as the lack of blood flow to the interior knee where the ligament is located means healing is impossible. For some, repairing the ACL is a no-brainer. But others choose to forego surgery with the understanding that a number of sudden movements allowed by the ACL will no longer be possible for them. Before or after surgery, it is a good idea to wear a professional ACL brace.

Thankfully, the body is able to heal a number of knee injuries itself with the help of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). There are also a number of orthotics for knee pain that can help with the compression and rest components, not to mention offering stability, support and pain relief. 

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation - RICE Treatment for Knee Injuries

 

But in other instances, especially knee ligament injury treatment, surgery is needed. BraceAbility also offers post-operation knee orthotics that can help speed the recovery process and ease pain following surgery.

Knee Meniscus Injury Treatment

The menisci are two c-shaped cartilage discs that cushion the knee cap. Knee cartilage injury treatment varies depending upon the location and extent of the damage to the meniscus, as well as the individual’s age and activity level.

For more minor injuries, knee meniscus injury treatment might involve following the steps of RICE along with physical therapy; use of a knee brace for meniscus injury may also be incorporated into treatment.

In other instances, a doctor may recommend either surgery to sew together the torn meniscus or either a partial or total meniscectomy, where either part or the entire meniscus is removed.  (For more details on treatment options for meniscus tears, click here.) After surgery, rest, physical therapy and possibly temporary use of a knee orthotic will likely be needed as part of the ACL tear recovery process.

The Bauerfeind GenuTrain P3 Patella Knee Support is allows mobility as one is recovering after a meniscus tear. The brace adds support to the meniscus and stabilizes the knee joint. Plus, it delivers targeted compression to ease swelling and thus pain and to promote healing. 

Types of Meniscus Tears in the Knee

 

Orthotics for Runners’ Knee

Runners’ knee is term broadly used to describe an ache in the vicinity of the kneecap. This condition is also referred to as Jumper's Knee. Contrary to what the name implies, this condition can stem from any number of activities that involve frequent bending of the knee. WebMD lists the following as causes for runners’ knee:

  • Overuse, which stresses the tendons and nerves of the knee
  • Direct trauma to the knee
  • Misalignment of the bones
  • Problems with the feet (i.e., flat feet)
  • Weak thigh muscles

Treatment options for runners’ knee typically involve following the steps of RICE along with use of an anti-inflammatory medication, though severe cases may require surgery.

Arch supports can be helpful if the causal factor is flat feet. There are also runners’ knee orthotics and Jumper's Knee braces to improve the alignment of the knee and to provide compression helpful toward easing knee pain.

The Bort StabiloPro Open Patella Knee Brace, for instance, helps stabilize and guide the knee cap. It can be adjusted to allow for differing amounts of extension and flexion of the knee for optimal healing.

Knee Ligament Injury Treatment

There are four ligaments in the knee that stabilize the knee and prevent it from moving in ways it should not:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
  • Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)

These ligaments can be torn if the leg suddenly moves in an unnatural way, be it via a pivot to the hoop, a tackle from the side, a tumble while skiing or a fall on the ice. Tears to many of these ligaments require surgery to repair and extensive rehab.

Unfortunately ACL tears are becoming increasingly common, especially among children and women. This injury can only be repaired via surgery, though one can decide to leave the ligament as is. In either case, one will likely need to wear a knee brace for ACL injury during the recovery process.

An MCL tear is also a relatively common phenomenon that sometimes occurs alongside an ACL tear. The severity of the tear will determine the MCL injury treatment and whether one opts to repair it with rest and possibly a knee brace for MCL injury or if surgery is necessary.

A top-selling knee brace for ligament injury available at BraceAbility is the Ossur CTI OTS Ligament Knee Brace. This hinged knee brace offers superior support and protection. It can be used for medium to high-impact sports and it is non-corrosive, so it can be used in sports such as surfing, wakeboarding or skiing.

Knee Joint Orthotics

Ligament tears and cartilage damage can increase one’s risk of developing osteoarthritis down the road. This disorder is characterized by pain and stiffness in the joints and it develops due to the wear and tear one’s body goes through over the course of a lifetime.

There are orthotics for knee joint pain that can help with the symptoms.

The Incredibrace Compression Athletic Knee brace, for one, helps with knee injury swelling treatment, thereby reducing pain. It also stimulates circulation, which is helpful for arthritis and osteoarthritis treatment.

Ossur has also designed an orthotic knee brace specifically for treating osteoarthritis: the Ossur Unloader One OTS Osteoarthritis Knee Brace.

General Knee Injury Brace

Knee pain and swelling can also occur simply due to straining the muscles or ligaments of the knee. In that case, rest is usually the best medicine and knee pain orthotics may be helpful for providing support as one heals.

The previously mentioned Incredibrace Compression Athletic Knee Brace can help with general knee instability as can the Bauefeind GenuTrain Knee Brace.

Looking for a knee brace that is easy to put on? The Bort GenuZip Flexible Lightweight Zipper Knee Brace is ideal for treating a wide variety of knee injuries. And the fact that it is secured via a zipper up the side of the brace means it is easy to put on over pants or shoes, if needed. 

 

 
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