What is Patellar Tracking Disorder?
Patellar tracking disorder, or patellofemoral tracking syndrome, occurs when the kneecap (or patella) moves out of its place while the leg bends or straightens. The shift of the kneecap can happen in a variety of directions, most commonly shifting too far towards the outside of the leg.
Symptoms of patellar tracking disorder are often pain at the front of the knee, usually, a popping, grinding or a slipping sensation. The disorder is most common for people performing activities that repeatedly put stress on the knee joint. For example, jumping, squatting and running. For more information on patellar tracking disorder click here.
Because of the variety of ways in which your kneecap can misalign, there are a variety of braces created to treat tracking disorders. Continue reading to find out which brace will work best for your patellar tracking issue!
My kneecap is shifting too far towards the outside of my leg, which brace is the right fit for me?
Shifting too far towards the outside, or lateral side misalignment, of the leg, is the most common cause of patellar tracking disorder. Since your kneecap is moving towards the outside of your leg, you will want a C-shaped buttress support that sits on the outside of your knee. This C-shaped support will track the knee back towards the proper center position. This will support your kneecap by stabilizing its position to protect it from injury.
At BraceAbility we offer this knee brace for lateral patella misalignment. This brace features the adjustable C-shaped buttress, a J-brace for lateral knee warmth and compression, and a versatile strapping system for dynamic treatment.
My kneecap is shifting too far towards the inside of my leg, which brace is the right fit for me?
Similar to the shifting at the outside of the leg, shifts towards the inside or medial misalignment of the leg require a C-shaped buttress with support on the opposite side. Because the lateral patella brace discussed prior is adjustable, it is a great fit for outside (lateral) or inside (medial) tracking issues.
I suffer from patella baja, is there a brace that will work for me?
Patella baja (also called patella infera) refers to the kneecap being low lying and the patella tendon being too short. Symptoms of this condition may include crepitation and limited range of motion for the kneecap. Because the patella sits too low a u-shaped buttress is the best fit for patella baja support. The U-shaped support will stabilize the inferior side, or underside of the patella to center it and relieve pain.
At BraceAbility we offer this knee brace for treating patella baja pain. This brace features the U-shaped inferior buttress to stabilize the patella. Along with this, Velcro straps will allow for optimal fit.
I’m struggling with knee tracking problems but want to remain physically active, which brace is the right fit for me?
If you’re struggling with patellar tracking disorder but want to remain active there are still brace options for you. Because you are experiencing misalignment of the patella most likely towards the inside or outside, the c-shaped buttress is your best support option. An adjustable brace will allow you to decide which side of the knee to support. To continue your physical activity it is important you find a brace that is lightweight, breathable, and preferably smaller to ensure comfort.
At BraceAbility we have this exercise-friendly knee brace which offers the adjustable C-shaped buttress for different tracking issues. It also is made of a lightweight and breathable CoolTex, making it exercise friendly. The sweat-resistant and cool fit make it the perfect fit for someone looking to continue physical activity. Most importantly, it is only 6 inches long allowing for it to be worn comfortably in any circumstance.
I’m experiencing the beginning stages of patellar tracking issues, are there braces for me?
Knee issues are extremely common and have the potential to spiral into serious problems. Addressing your knee tracking issues right away is a great way to prevent further problems and support your patella. The best support for mild or beginning problems is either an O-shaped buttress or an adjustable u-shaped buttress. This will provide the area with a milder but all-inclusive support. An open patella design will help take the pressure off the kneecap and relieve the pain you’re experiencing.
At BraceAbility we offer a couple options with an O-shaped buttress. For example, we have a plus size patella support brace. This knee sleeve offers the O-shaped buttress for a more universal and mild patella support. Along with the design, the sleeve provides compression and warmth to relieve swelling issues. The brace is offered in plus sizes up to 4XL.
For an all-inclusive knee wrap, we have this universal patella support wrap. This neoprene wrap comes with an adjustable U-shaped buttress allowing you to customize where on the patella you would like support. Along with its ability to support tracking issues, this wrap has the potential to help with a variety of injuries. This wrap is universal in size.
Finding the Best Knee Brace for Patellar Tendonitis
Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee, is a tendon injury that is most common among athletes in sports that involve jumping, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis or dance. The patellar tendon is the band of tissues connecting the knee (patella) to the shin bone (tibia). It is highly instrumental when it comes to jumping or explosive motions of the knee.
When this tendon is overused or overstressed, microscopic tears will form in the tendon, which causes painful inflammation and swelling in the area the tendon is located just below the knee.
The pain comes on gradually over time and thus cannot usually be pinpointed to a specific causal injury. This pain will generally start as an ache in the patellar tendon region after physical activity and will gradually progress to pain during and after physical activity that can be so intense it is disruptive of performance. In the worst case scenario, a total tear of the tendon can occur.
Thus, it is important to pay attention to such pain and address it accordingly.
Patellar Tendonitis Treatment
Often (especially in its early stages), this injury can be treated via rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). But as athletes know, an extended period of rest is not always an option, not to mention these treatment methods do not address preventive care to stave off reinjuring the tendon.
Since the injury is common to high-impact sports, some of which involve contact with other players and/or the ground, it is not surprising that many athletes turn to a patella knee brace to ease pain and swelling, accelerate healing and provide additional support. The support aspect, in particular, makes a patella brace preferable over a patella tendon strap for some individuals.
At BraceAbility, we have a number of knee braces for patellar tendonitis that are well suited for athletic activity and are comfortable to wear.
Patella Braces for Athletes
Patella tendonitis braces cover and protect the knee and prevent too much pressure from being placed on the knee cap. All of this can help shorten an athlete’s healing time not to mention protect the knee and prevent it from being injured again when it is most vulnerable.
Specialized Patella Tendon Brace Products
At BraceAbility, one can also find a patellar tracking brace as well as a patella stabilizing brace that features joint bars for ultimate knee support. Our patella tracking disorder brace is also a good chondromalacia brace. Similar to patellar tendonitis, this condition is characterized by pain beneath the kneecap due to overuse or injury, but in chondromalacia, the source of the pain is the cartilage rather than a tendon.
Whatever patellar knee brace you choose from the wide selection at BraceAbility.com, be sure to pair its use with exercise and stretches of the quadriceps. Doing so can help one prevent further injury to the patellar tendon.