A knee brace is only as effective as its application. If it is not properly fitted to your leg, you can actually experience more pain than without the support. Knee braces, including the Breg ACL, are commonly used for conditions as varied as osteoarthritis and ligament conditions. Professional athletes and workout enthusiasts benefit greatly from knee supports. Follow these basic steps to fit a Breg ACL knee brace, and use the information to position your brace correctly.
Preparing the Brace
Most brace manufacturers number their Velcro straps to make installation easier for new users. The back of the brace has four straps that must be pulled from their loops. Loosen all four of the straps and press them together to keep the Velcro from sticking to clothing during the fitting. The brace's front panel houses two straps. Do not pull these from their loops, but simply loosen their tension and press the Velcro together to hold them in place.
Position the Patient
The brace recipient should be sitting on a chair. They must sit near the edge of the seat and place their foot on the floor. The recipient should not be in an uncomfortable position because both feet are supporting the person's weight. Do not position them on the edge of the seat where they can easily slide off. Position the leg at a 30-degree angle. This positioning is critical to align the brace's hinge point with the knee.
Visually locate the hinge point on the brace. It is often referred to as the pads. Press the brace onto the recipient's leg. Align the pads with the top of the kneecap. Push the brace further onto the leg by pressing the pads toward the posterior leg area. The bottom brace portion, called the tibial cuff, should flare upward with the positioning motion. Press the tibial cuff down until it is flush with the recipient's leg.
It is crucial to sit the pads back on the leg's posterior to flare the tibial cuff up. If it does not lift up during pad positioning, the brace is not correct. By continuing with improper positioning, you possibly cause the tibial cuff to rub and compromise the tibia's crest, creating more pain within the leg.
Starting with the lower, posterior leg, or number one, strap, loosen the Velcro. Place the strap through the loop and tighten around the leg. Continue to strap number two, above the posterior knee, and affix it snugly. Avoid tugging on the straps to prevent pad misalignment at the knee joint. Affix strap number three above the posterior knee as well. Tighten the front, lower leg strap, or number four. Affix and tighten the remaining lower and posterior leg strap. Straighten the leg and tighten the last front strap, or number six.
Final Alignment Check
Bend the braced knee and visually check the pads. They should be aligned with the center of the kneecap or slightly above. The brace should remain in place with proper positioning.