What do these braces look like?
1. Fullforce (off the shelf ACL knee brace): similar initial appearance as the Donjoy Defiance custom knee brace, especially for the untrained individual. But at a closer look, there are several differences:
- It is completely straight when looking at it from the front. This does not capture the thigh to shin knee joint angle. This is what we know as “knock knees” or “bow legged”.
- The thigh frame is linear. This increases the chance that the inner frame may pinch the groin, especially for shorter individuals.
- Off the shelf braces often come with a small selection of colors because of their prefabrication. The Donjoy Fullforce off-the-shelf brace comes in only one color.
2. Defiance III (custom ACL knee brace):
- When looking at these braces from the front view a noticeable angle is seen between the upper and lower part of the brace. Donjoy Defiance measures what we know as “knock knees” or “bow legs”. This is the knee joint angle between the thigh and shin bones known as varus and valgus. It is very rare to have a 0 degree joint angle between these bones, which is what a standard off-the-shelf ACL brace is made to have.
- The thigh frame has the option of a “swooping thigh”. This prevents any groin pinching from the upper thigh frame because it curves down versus the more linear frame seen on an off-the-shelf knee brace.
- Custom knee braces often come with more unique colors and other accessories such as stronger buckles, added padding, calf guards etc. The Donjoy Defiance III has over 25 of colors and graphic options.
To summarize, custom knee braces use a much more detailed system of measurements to create a perfect fitting brace when compared with an off-the-shelf knee brace. As a result, having a professional with the proper experience and knowledge to measure and fit these braces is equally important as selecting the right brace. In doing so, your risk of further knee damage and injury will be greatly reduced. Custom knee braces have added features such as more color selection, frame alterations for comfort, added padding and stronger buckles to name a few. If you are looking for the best for your ligament or cartilage knee injury, a custom knee brace, properly measured is the only way to go.