Knee Braces: Common Types And Medical Uses

by Administrator 24. January 2016 07:56

A knee brace is designed to provide support to the knee following an injury or illness. It helps to take off pressure from the affected knee which in turn, reduces pain. It also assists in quick recovery and prevents further damage to the knee structures. Sportspersons may wear a brace to avoid sudden jerk to the joint and avoid injury. Knee braces come in a variety of types, sizes, shapes as well as materials including foam, elastic straps, foam and metal. The effectiveness and type of knee brace required depends upon the patient’s condition as well as level of physical activity.

How Does a Knee Brace Works?

When an individual injures the knee or is suffering from a degenerative orthopedic condition, the surgeon may advise him to wear a brace in order to promote natural healing. A knee brace works by transferring the body weight in a direction away from the site of pain. It absorbs shock by controlling jerky movements and providing protection during physical activity. It also helps to keep the knee properly aligned during the healing process, thereby, preventing any deformities.

Given below are some common types of knee braces along with their medical uses:

  • Functional Knee Braces: These are a form of hinged brace that are usually recommended to patients who have suffered a knee injury. They help to provide support to the joint during strenuous physical activities such as bending, jumping, squatting, twisting etc. They reduce instability without affecting the joint’s range of motion. Functional braces are also beneficial for recovery from ACL surgery and ligament injury.
  • Rehabilitative Knee Braces: These braces are worn to restrict the movement of the knee while it is healing post-surgery. Rehabilitative braces consist of foam shells surrounding the knee, thigh and calf, along with long hinged bars on each side to keep the joint properly positioned for a faster recovery.
  • Prophylactic Knee Braces: These are mainly recommended by the knee surgeons to protect the joint from injuries while playing contact sports. They provide support to the ACL and PCL during rotational movements as well as prevent injuries to the MCL. Prophylactic braces consist of bars, hinges and adhesive straps and can be adjusted according to the patient’s needs.
  • Unloader Knee Braces: These may be prescribed to be worn by patients suffering from Osteoarthritis of the medial compartment of the knee. It helps to relieve pressure off the knee and transfer it to the femur. Unloader Knee Braces may also be recommended for patients waiting to have a knee replacement surgery.

We, at OrthoTexas, Frisco, provide complete consultation regarding knee braces. To schedule an appointment with our orthopedic surgeons, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Torn Meniscus

by Administrator 24. August 2015 10:01

Torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries seen in sportspersons. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage that sits between the thighbone and shinbone on either side of the knee. It provides cushioning to the knee bones and helps to keep the joint stable. Activities that require frequently twisting or rotating the knee joint, particularly with the leg planted, may cause the meniscus to tear.

Causes

  • Forceful twisting or rotating of the knee
  • Sudden stops and turns when the knee is bent
  • Repetitive kneeling, pivoting or squatting
  • Injuries during contact sports
  • Lifting weights improperly
  • Age related degeneration of the cartilage

Symptoms

  • Pain in and around the knee
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping sensation at the time of injury
  • Buckling or locking of the knee, particularly during physical activity
  • Feeling that the knee may give away
  • Pain increases while running, walking or climbing stairs
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the leg

Diagnosis

To diagnose a torn meniscus, the orthopedic surgeon may move the affected knee and leg into different positions to identify the exact location of pain. He may also conduct certain imaging tests to rule out a fracture and evaluate the extent of damage caused to the cartilage.

Treatment

  • RICE Therapy: The patient may be advised to follow the RICE therapy for a few days following the injury. This includes taking proper rest and avoiding activities that may strain the knee, applying ice pack at the site of injury, compressing the knee with an elastic bandage and keeping the leg elevated above heart level. This will help to compress swelling and provide relief from pain.
  • Medications: The knee surgeon may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to ease pain and discomfort associated with a torn meniscus.
  • Physical Therapy: Once the pain and swelling subside, the knee surgeon may suggest you to attend physical therapy sessions. Performing light exercises will help to strengthen the leg muscles to provide better support and stability to the knee joint.
  • Surgery: If the symptoms do not subside with conservative treatment, the doctor may recommend surgery. During the procedure, the knee surgeon may stitch the torn meniscal edges together or trim away the damaged part of the cartilage. 

The knee surgeons at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide effective treatment for torn meniscus and other knee injuries. To schedule an appointment, you can call us at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034.

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Knee Brace: Frisco, TX

by Administrator 19. August 2015 11:03

A knee brace is a supportive device that helps to stabilize the joint following an injury or surgery. They are usually recommended to reduce knee pain, maintain normal joint alignment and shorten recovery period. People with Arthritis or other orthopedic degenerative conditions can also wear a knee brace to carry out daily activities easily. Knee braces are available in a wide variety of designs, styles and material and can be customized to suit the requirements of the patient.

Types Of Knee Braces

  • Hinged Braces: Also known as prophylactic braces, they comprise of bars, hinges and straps. A hinged brace is usually worn by sportspersons to protect the knee from on-field injuries while retaining its range of motion. It also protects the ligaments during rotational movements of the knee.
  • Functional Braces: The basic purpose of these braces is to prevent injury to the four ligaments in the knee joint, i.e. ACL, MCL, PCL or LCL. They also promote a faster recovery from a knee ligament injury. Functional braces work by reducing instability and providing support to the knee joint during activities that require frequent, jumping, twisting, squatting and direction changing.
  • Unloader Braces: These types of braces are usually designed for people suffering from Knee Osteoarthritis. An unloader knee brace is typically made of plastic or foam and works by taking off load from the knee and transferring it to the thighbone. This helps to eliminate pain as the knee is made to bend in a direction other than the affected part. Knee surgeons also recommend these braces to patients waiting to undergo a joint replacement surgery.
  • Rehabilitative Braces: As the name suggests, these braces are worn to boost recovery following a surgery or injury to the joint. A rehabilitative brace restricts the movement of the joint to avoid any strain and hold in a specific position to prevent misalignment of the bones. These types of braces comprise a foam shell or liner that wraps the knee, calf and thigh to provide better support to the joint.

Benefits Of A Knee Brace

  • Reduces pain
  • Limits mobility of the joint
  • Aids post-surgical recovery
  • Prevents sports injuries
  • Prevents external rotation of the knee
  • Controls inappropriate or jerky movement of kneecap
  • Protects graft following and ACL repair surgery
  • Boosts performance in physical activities
  • Provides relief from Arthritic pain
  • Allows ligaments to heal faster

For consultation regarding knee braces, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with our knee surgeons, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.

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Posterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Orthopedic Frisco

by Administrator 12. August 2015 08:39

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) helps in stabilizing the knee and preventing the tibia from bending backwards or twisting outwards. The PCL is less prone to injuries because of its thickness and strength. PCL injury ranges from mild to severe and is graded from 1 to 3, depending upon the symptoms.

Causes

  • A direct blow to the knee
  • Falling on the bent knee
  • Twisting or rotating of the ligament
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Industrial accidents

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the knee that leads to limping
  • Knee gives out or feels unstable
  • Inability to walk or put weight on the knee

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose a PCL injury, the orthopedic surgeon may ask questions about the patient’s medical history and nature of injury. He may conduct a physical examination and discuss the symptoms. The orthopedic doctor may use an arthrometer, a device that is used to measure the tightness of ligaments, to confirm the PCL tear. The doctor may recommend certain imaging tests such as MRI, X-ray, etc. to determine the severity of the condition.

Treatment

After a PCL injury, it is crucial to protect the knee from further damage and reduce the pain. The orthopedic surgeon may advise the patient to rest the knee and avoid repetitive movements. He may also prescribe using ice packs on the affected area to offer relief from swelling and pain. Compressing the knee with an elastic bandage can be effective and the patient may require keeping the knee elevated. Mild PCL injury that involves a partial tear usually heals without any surgical treatment. The orthopedic doctor may also prescribe certain anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and swelling. The patient may be advised to wear a knee brace or support to keep the knee stable and promote steady healing.

If the non-surgical treatment options do not offer relief or other structures around the PCL are also injured, the doctor may recommend surgical treatment. During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon rebuilds the torn PCL using a graft from any other part of the body, using an arthoscope.

Post surgery the patient may be advised to undergo rehabilitation and physiotherapy to assist in resuming to daily activities. Specific exercises can help in restoring the functioning of the knee and strengthen the knee muscles.

The knee doctors at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide treatment for all kinds of knee injuries. To schdeule an appointment, visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034 or call at (214) 618-5502.

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