The knee brace market is a confusing one. With so many types, brands and materials, this article will help organize and categorize the options available so you can make a better decision when selecting a knee brace.
There are 7 main categories of knee braces:
*Non-custom options are available for each category, custom options are only available for some. It is noted under each category where a custom option is available.
1) Posts surgical or post injury knee braces
2) Compression or basic sleeve knee braces
3) Less supportive frame knee braces
4) More supportive frame knee braces – custom option available
5) Unloader knee braces – custom option available
6) Patella stabilizing knee braces – custom option available
7) Patella tendon knee braces or straps
Oftentimes knee braces can be a combination of the categories listed above. For example you can have a framed brace that also provides compression or a patella stabilizing brace that also has a metal frame.
Also, there are knee brace brands that can manufacture a custom product for a category not mentioned above. For example, Bauerfeind makes a custom compression brace, however, it is rare and will not provide any significant benefit. The custom knee bracing options mentioned in the categories above are mentioned because of their added benefits and they are commonly purchased products.
It is important to summarize the differences between custom and non-custom knee braces to further help in your planning as some categories above have custom options available.