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

unloader brace

The Unloader One brace is made by the company Ossur. The brace should be fitted by someone trained to do so.

knee joint space narrowing

Unloading protects the vulnerable joint cartilage on that side of the knee joint. Once unloaded, the collapsed joint space should open up as weight is taken on that side.


Unloader brace

An unloader brace may be useful when the joint space 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. There is also a commercially available unloader implant which goes into the tibia bone and adjustments can be made from outside the joint.

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Implantable joint-unloading prosthesis

KineSpring® have put onto the market an implantable, extra-articular, extra-capsular prosthesis intended to alleviate knee osteoarthritis symptoms by reducing medial knee compartment loading.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...