Risks

Risks of knee braces may include:

  • Discomfort wearing the brace. A knee brace may feel heavy, bulky and hot at first.
  • Skin irritation or swelling. The skin under the brace may become red and irritated if your knee brace fits poorly. Some people also experience swelling around the joint.
  • Lack of benefit. Studies of knee braces for people with osteoarthritis have been limited, and results have been mixed. Some people experience no benefit. Others report diminished pain and increased function.
Oct. 26, 2016
References
  1. DeLee JC, et al. Knee arthritis. In: DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  2. Frontera WR. Knee osteoarthritis. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  3. Steadman JR, et al. Current state of unloading braces for knee osteoarthritis. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 2016;24:42.
  4. Duivenvoorden T, et al. Braces and orthoses for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004020.pub3/abstract. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  5. Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 20, 2016.
  6. Arthritis of the knee. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00212. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  7. Firestein GS, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis. In: Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  8. Moyer RF, et al. Valgus bracing for knee osteoarthritis: A meta-analysis of randomized trials. Arthritis Care & Research. 2015;67:493.
  9. Squyer E, et al. Unloader knee bracers for osteoarthritis: Do patients actually wear them? Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 2013;471:1982.