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Osteoarthritis Bracing 


Unicompartmental osteoarthritis of the knee is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects millions of people today. Osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of either the medial or lateral compartment of the knee, can result from an injury to the knee that occurred earlier in life or it may be genetic.

 

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the symptoms which include pain, swelling and stiffening of the knee, can be decreased in a variety of ways. One way to alleviate the pain and other symptoms of osteoarthritis is to wear a knee orthosis.

 

Many times, a neoprene sleeve with metal uprights is prescribed for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. This type of brace offers some relief, but most patients need more help to alleviate the pain. The pain from osteoarthritis occurs when there is degeneration of the articular cartilage which covers the joint. The degeneration causes there to be areas of the joint where bone rubs against bone.

 

An alternative to a neoprene sleeve would be one of the many different types of Osteoarthritis Knee Orthoses. An Osteoarthritis Knee Orthosis (OA KO) is more effective than a neoprene sleeve because it is designed to apply a combination of forces to certain areas of the knee and keeps the two bones from contacting one another. The OA KO applies either a valgus or varus force depending upon which compartment of the knee is affected and, therefore, more joint space is created and the pain is alleviated.

 

Patients wearing an OA KO versus a neoprene sleeve have seen great results. However, patients should wear the brace for at least 3-4 weeks before they may notice any significant pain relief.

 

While an OA KO may be larger than a neoprene sleeve, it is still very lightweight and also may be worn while a patient is participating in most any type of work or recreational activity. Depending on what a physician prescribes, a patient may wear the brace all day or only while participating in certain activities.



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