An 'unloader' is a device - like a brace - which changes the forces going through the knee in order to protect a damaged side.

It may be useful when the joint has collapsed on one side - perhaps due to an inadequate meniscal shock absorber - and also where the joint on one side needs protecting, such as after cartilage repair procedures. 

unloader brace knee joint space narrowing

Such a brace is designed to open up the joint on the affected side as the person bears weight, thus 'unloading' the vulnerable joint cartilage on that side.


An 'interpretation' of a 2017 published medical paper about the cost-efficiency of unloader braces compared to surgical solutions for unicompartmental knee arthritis.

Video testimonials from patients trying an unloader brace for the first time.

Unloader braces

Braces for patients with arthritis just in one compartment of the knee.