Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What to Look for In a Post Operative Knee Brace

Knee pain, whether chronic or acute, is one of the most common complaints affecting the skeletal structure that doctors see and treat with regularity in an active society. The knee is taxed to bend and rotate and often manages to accommodate such movements when it shouldn't leading to strains, sprains and other injuries.

Among the conditions that can lead to surgery are:

  • Ligament Injuries - most often the result of athletic activity affecting any of the four separate ligaments responsible for stabilizing the knee joint. They are the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). Injury can occur from twisting the knee with the foot planted, hyper-extension, sudden stopping in the midst of running, shifting weight from one leg to the other, jumping, landing in a flexed position or direct impact to the knee.
  • Dislocation of the Knee Cap - occurring after a sudden or unexpected changing of direction on a planted leg position or else from direct impact.
  • Cartilage Injuries - having a wide range of causes from genetics, to meniscal or patella tendon injuries, to Osteochondral Defects, to arthritis, to instability from weaknesses, the result of repeated micro-traumas or a single impact.
  • Condylar Fractures - affecting the lower end of the femur corrected with a groin-to-toe plaster for un-displaced fractures or surgery for displaced fractures.
  • Tibial Plateau Fractures - involving the most critical area in the knee that accommodates load-bearing, the upper end of the tibia bone.
  • High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO) - knee surgery to repair osteoarthritis.

The ability to perform myriad movements on a joint as complex as the knee presents the possibility of incapacity. The most frequent complaints of pain and injury come from those participating in such sports as basketball, football and skiing. Recognizing the potential for injury and the subsequent need for recovery that will support the joint during repair, there are a series of post-operative knee braces from which to choose to help in this process.

Selecting a Post-Operative Knee Brace
Rehabilitation and recovery can occur very soon after surgery in most case, with the need to focus on mobility while strengthening the knee. This means being able to have a stabilized range of motion as the damaged knee and surrounding muscles are worked. Immobilizing the knee is necessary to prevent further injury while still allowing for a range of movement, depending upon the degree of injury. In some cases, complete immobilization is necessary to promote healing.

The post-op knee braces available today have features that allow for adjusting compression and range of flexibility through the use of rigid hinges and straps that can be fitted for comfort and adjusted for the best therapy while in use. They have been designed to allow for control of bending and straightening the knee joint along with the flexion and extension that normally occurs through movement. This can be achieved with the use of locking mechanisms that enable a patient to lock the brace out in full extension so as to prevent any flexing of the knee joint, or by degree, depending upon what has been prescribed by the surgeon.

Manufactured in either telescoping or pre-determined lengths for an individual's specific height, these braces are able to accommodate cold therapy wraps or dressings to aid in speedier recovery. Some of the braces have a limited 6 month warranty, in the case of Donjoy post-op braces, while others have a 30 day return policy. Among the manufacturers, there are brands made by Breg, New Option Sports, Ossur, Orthotic Rehab, Donjoy, Hely Weber, Deroyal, Neuroflex, Comfy, Thermoskin and RCAI. These brands represent only the highest quality post-operative knee braces available on the market today.

About MMAR Medical: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is one of North America's premiere medical orthopedic brace distributors, carrying a large selection of post-op hinged braces. Based in Houston Texas, www.MMARMedical.com also carries one of the largest selection of spinal back braces in the Americas.

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