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10 Best Hinged Knee Braces

by Amanda Ghosh May 27, 2017 0 Comments

Knee painOur knees are our largest joints and they play a major role in our everyday activities. Without our knees, it would be very difficult to walk, bend, sit and engage in the sports we love. Therefore, it's extremely important to take good care of them, especially if they are injured or vulnerable. Finding the best hinged knee brace is one way to take care of and support injured or weak knees. A knee brace with a hinge can help to stabilize, secure, and support the knees while protecting them against injury. Not all knee brace designs on the same, and selection should be based on your individual needs. Since there are many different types of knee braces to choose from, we’ve made a list of the top ten for you.

1. Drytext Hinged Knee Brace by DonJoy

Drytext Hinged Knee Brace by DonJoy

Amazon

This brace has a lot to love. It’s made from hypoallergenic material, so it is perfect for those with sensitive skin. You can also adjust the brace for more compression and stability. And, it helps to treat a wide array of knee problems, including patella tendonitis, chondromalacia, patellofemoral malalignment and MCL and LCL sprains.

Pros:
  • The range of motion offered by this brace is amazing
  • Gives the patella enough support and stability to keep you active in your favorite sports
  • Surprisingly comfortable for a brace of this size
Cons:
  • Seams on back of brace rub and irritate the skin when bending

2. Polycentric Hinged Knee Brace by McDavid

Polycentric Hinged Knee Brace by McDavid

Amazon

This is another brace that is great for those with sensitive skin. This brace uses latex free thermal compression material and can be worn on the right or left knee. It is perfect for those looking to prevent injury and gain assistance in the recovery process.

Pros:
  • Is “just right” for gaining support during athletic activities
  • Fights perfectly—neither too loose nor too tight
  • Comfortable to wear for several hours at a time
Cons:
  • Hard to pull this brace over an ankle injury

3. Ultra Knee Brace by Shock Doctor

Ultra Knee Brace by Shock Doctor

Amazon

This brace uses cotton blend fabric and offers N-Tex air flow for venting and wicking away moisture. This product is ideal for those looking for extra support and stability as well as enhanced performance. Overall, it is a great option for rigorous activities.

Pros:
  • Minimizes lateral movement of the knee to provide stability and protection
  • Relieves pain quickly after an injury
  • Offers impressive stability for active sports like soccer
Cons:
  • Takes a few days to break in and can be itchy

4. Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps by McDavid

Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps by McDavid

Amazon

A lot of braces can irritate or scratch the skin. This brace minimizes that problem by using bound edges. Plus, its perforated back panel lets heat and moisture escape to keep your knee cool and comfortable. It also offers maximum protection while still allowing free movement.

Pros:
  • The heavy duty design is perfect for sports like basketball, tennis and running
  • Great for those who need a lot of support to keep them doing what they love
  • High quality design lets you worry less about hurting your knee
Cons:
  • Sizing is not true to size and you may benefit from ordering a size larger than what you think you need

5. Knee Brace with Dual Hinges by Shock Doctor

Knee Brace with Dual Hinges by Shock Doctor

Amazon

This brace has a patent-pending X-Fit lower strap that wraps around the leg and overlaps the hinge to offer even more stability when you flex your knee. It also features pull tabs that allow you to take this brace on and off with ease.

Pros:
  • Supports knees well enough to reduce post-workout knee pain
  • Offers more lateral and behind the knee support than most braces with a hinge
  • The brace is minimal design that is perfect for wearing to yoga
Cons:
  • Velcro and seams fray with wear

6. 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges by McDavid

422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges by McDavid

Amazon

We particularly like that this brace lets you independently manipulate each sidearm.  It is also great for those looking for a lighter, less bulky brace. We also like that this product uses a nylon fabric on the exterior of the brace as this seems to hold up better against continued wear.

Pros:
  • Offers solid support for those that are on their feet all day
  • Can help to stabilize the knee if you’re overweight and experiencing knee problems during exercise
  • Offers a lot of pain relief
Cons:
  • Tends to irritate if worn for longer than 4 hours at a time

7. Stabilized Hinged Knee Support by Neo-G

Stabilized Hinged Knee Support by Neo-G

Amazon

This brace addresses several conditions. It can help those suffering from arthritis, strains, sprains, pain, instability, ligament tears and meniscus injuries. It also prevents you from having to deal with the hassle of sizing as one size fits all. This is a great all around brace for people looking for general support or pain relief.

Pros:
  • Works well for people with large legs
  • Great option for dancing and other activities with lots of movement
  • A solid way to relieve pain while contemplating knee replacement surgery
Cons:
  • Loosens with continuous wear

8. Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller

Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller

Amazon

This brace stays in position once it’s on and it covers the knee cap. It also uses anti-microbial technology to prevent bacterial growth. This is good for those who want a full coverage brace.

Pros:
  • Easy to wash and keep clean
  • Helps to reduce swelling after an active day
  • Supports lateral movement while providing compression
Cons:
  • Gets sweaty when worn for long periods of time or in hot weather

9. Hinged Knee Brace by Vive

Hinged Knee Brace by Vive

Vivehealth

This brace has a nice soft fabric and provides compression and pain relief for a lot of injuries. Plus, unlike other hinged braces, you can actually remove the hinges to customize the brace to your preferred level of support.  This brace is perfect for those looking to support injured ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints while achieving a customizable and breathable fit. For the price, it’s a terrific value!

Pros:
  • Easy to adjust to achieve the perfect fit
  • Holds up well to repeated wear
  • Sufficiently relieves pain
Cons:
  • Has a funny odor when you first take it out of the package but that goes away

10. Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller

Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller

Amazon

This brace offers an adjustable fit and can be worn on the right or left knee. It is best for those with weak knees who want the hinges mounted on the outside of the brace.

Pros:
  • Offers a lot of adjustability to help you achieve the perfect fit
  • Offers light knee support making it great for those who only need a touch of support
  • Applies a sufficient amount of pressure to the knee
Cons:
  • Velcro lacks staying power and tends to loosen

Why Choose a Hinged Knee Brace?

Hinged knee braces come with one or two bars on each side. These bars are known as hinges or arms. The hinge feature is not present in sleeve-style braces. The hinges that characterize a hinged knee brace offer extra support and stability, particularly for the ligaments on the inside and outside of the knee. If extra stability is something you are looking for, a hinged brace is a smart option. Specific injuries like a torn ACL or MCL are best supported with a hinged brace. Check out these  5 best knee braces for torn ACL

Types of Knee Braces

There are several different types of knee braces available to consumers. Each type has its own unique purpose. The brace you choose depends on the type of injury you have.

  • Functional Knee Brace

This is the type of brace you want if you have already injured your knee and are just looking for some additional support.
  • Load-Specific Braces

People who have knee conditions such as arthritis need to have the load that is placed on their knee joints lifted. A brace designed to unload this pressure is perfect.
  • Rehab Knee Braces

After surgery, people need a brace that will limit the movement of the knee while helping it to heal. The last thing you want to do is move the knee too quickly or try to do too much. A rehabilitation knee brace prevents that, though they can be quite restrictive.
  • Prophylactic Knee Brace

While it sounds like it might have more to do with preventing disease, this style of knee brace is actually the style that is designed for use during contact sports. It is supposed to help protect the knee

    The braces listed in this article offer a mix of different types. 

    Tips for Fitting a Knee Brace

    The American Family Physician Organization suggests the following protocol when fitting and wearing a knee brace: 

    • Measure the circumference of the leg 3 inches above the knee cap and 3 inches below the knee cap
    • Measure the circumference of the knee joint around the center of the knee cap when the leg is relaxed and when the leg is extended
    • Obtain circumference according to manufacturer guidelines (if provided)

    Picking the Best Hinged Knee Brace

    Your knees are arguably one of your most important joints in your body. Keep them protected with a quality hinged knee brace to maintain your independence and the ability to continue partaking in the activities you love. We’ve selected ten braces that suit a variety of needs. Take your time and do your research. Of course, it is always a good idea to speak to your doctor about the best ways to protect and support your injury. While you have that conversation, take a look at some knee braces. We know there is a knee brace out there for you that offers exactly what you need. We hope this article has been helpful. Stop by again soon!

    Sources:

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0...

    https://familydoctor.org/knee-...

    Amanda Ghosh
    Amanda Ghosh

    Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."



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