The patella is a small bone located at the front of the knee joint where the thighbone and tibia intersect. The patella acts as a protective shield for the knee, connecting the muscles in the front of your thigh to your tibia. The patella shape is complicated and varies greatly from individual to individual. Of these unique patella shapes, some people suffer from patella baja misalignment of the kneecap.
What Is Patella Baja?
Patella baja, also known as patella infera, refers to a low-lying patella. This is the equivalent of the patella tendon being too short. Patella Baja is the opposite of patella alta, in which the patella is sitting too high or the patella tendon being too long. The low lying patella is the same as having a short patella tendon. Patella infera symptoms might include crepitation (a crackling or grating sound/sensation), limited range of motion and pain behind the kneecap. This also increases one's risk of developing arthritis. (Check out our arthritis braces.) This condition might be present from birth, or it can result from scarring due to surgery or trauma.Since both conditions can have some serious, irreversible consequences down the road, it is important to do all that one can in terms of patella alta and patella infera treatment.
How Does this Brace Help with Patella Baja?
This brace for dealing with unusual kneecap placement has an inferior U-shaped buttress that cups the patella at the bottom, aiding stability. The u-shaped buttress puts compression on the lower portion of the knee, making it the best fit for patella baja. The solid tubular buttress keeps in ideal contact with the knee and spiral stays prevent it from rolling or bunching.
This brace for patella infera is made of a neoprene alternative that is free of latex, hypo-allergenic and breathable. This sleeve for infera patella also provides compression, which reduces swelling and promotes healing.
Besides helping with patella baja symptoms, this support can also help with the following (sometimes related) conditions:
Application of this brace for patella baja is simple. One simply pulls the sleeve up the leg, positions it as needed and then fastens the two support straps for a secure (but not circulation-disrupting) fit. The Velcro closures of these straps mean adjustment is easy and quick.
This knee brace for low-riding kneecaps comes in a wide variety of sizes, including some bariatric ones. These choices also help one achieve an optimal fit.
What Braces will Treat Patella Alta?
Both patella baja and alta are issues of kneecap misalignment. However, because they pertain to different portions of the patella, they require different treatment. The u-shaped buttress that is not adjustable offers support to the lower portion of the patella. While an adjustable c-shaped buttress, like this one, that can be placed at the top of the patella will aid in alta issues.
Patella Infera and Patella Alta Treatment
Surgery is often needed at some point for dealing with both patella baja and alta since these conditions can take a toll on the cartilage and other structures of the knee. But there are steps one can take to delay going under the knife. One of these is wearing a brace for patella baja or patella alta like this one, which will specifically stabilize patella baja conditions because of the u-shaped buttress. The open-patella design and u-shaped buttress limit unusual movement of the kneecap and help with stability.
Activity modification can also limit stress on the knees. This might include shifting to low-impact athletic activities like swimming or biking and avoiding motions like squats, lunges or running that put high levels of stress on the knee. Physical therapy to strengthen and improve the flexibility of surrounding tissues can also be helpful in treating patella alta or baja.
And, of course, a limited period of rest for the knee can do a world of good. Taking a break gives painful inflammation a chance to diminish and allows healing to take place. Taking anti-inflammatory medications can also help.
Multi-purpose Patella Baja Brace
This versatile and comfortable knee brace is a well-designed product for treating patella baja/infera, as well as a number of other injuries like patella subluxation, patellofemoral tracking syndrome and as part of a rehabilitation program following injury. Following are some of its features that enable it to do so.
- Pull-on sleeve style with velcro straps above and below the kneecap which can be adjusted to your desired fit and compression level
- Features an open patella design with a U-shaped solid, tubular buttress positioned underneath your kneecap (also called an “inferior U” buttress)
- Stabilizes the underside of your patella
- Spiral stays prevent the sleeve from rolling over
- Made of a neoprene alternative that is Hypo-allergenic, breathable, lightweight and latex-free
- Color: Black
Available in regular and plus sizes up to 4XL, with measurements based on the circumference of the leg 6” above the mid-patella, at the mid-patella and 6” below the mid-patella
|Size||6" Above Mid-Kneecap||Mid-Kneecap||6" Below Mid-Kneecap|
|X-Small||16" - 18"||12" - 13"||11" - 12"|
|Small||17" - 19"||13" - 14"||12" - 13"|
|Medium||18" - 20"||14" - 15"||13" - 14"|
|Large||19" - 21"||15" - 16"||14" - 15"|
|X-Large||20" - 22"||16" - 18"||15" - 16"|
|2X-Large||21" - 23"||18" - 20"||16" - 17"|
|3X-Large||24" - 26"||20" - 22"||17" - 18"|
|4X-Large||27" - 29"||22" - 24"||18" - 19"|
|Measurement taken at the circumference of the indicated portion of the knee|