The LIBRARY => Knee braces => Topic started by: Slippyknee on September 26, 2011, 01:33:58 PM

Title: Brace underwear
Post by: Slippyknee on September 26, 2011, 01:33:58 PM
I know it's a daft title, but can you get anything to wear under a brace to help stop straps from digging in?
I'm new to all this and will have to wear a brace for at least six months and was wondering if any of you have any tips on making the brace comfy to wear for long periods?

Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: Kaputt_Knee on September 26, 2011, 02:33:04 PM
I got 3 lengths of tubigrip from my physios - one to wear, one in the wash and one in cash something happened. We doubled the tubigrip over the ends of the brace so that the velcro on the straps did not catch on any of my clothing and ruin it.

I still use tubigrip under my braces as I also find it stops them from slipping.

Sue  ;)
Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: Slippyknee on September 28, 2011, 09:21:58 AM
Thanks for the reply sue,

I got some tubigrip yesterday from the chemist.
They gave me a legnth that doubles over it feels a lot better with the straps, which i'm still having problems with, I can't seem to get them the right tension, and altering them all the time,
I know i've only been using the brace for a few days and it will take time to get used to.

Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: dm on October 03, 2011, 10:52:37 AM
A trick for brace tensioning... tighten the strap just below the knee while seated, so you have the brace anchored just enough that it's sorta on. then stand up and fasten the rest. Gravity does interesting things with tissue, and I've found that you do a lot less re-adjusting if you stand up to fasten the straps, as your thigh changes shape dramatically when standing versus seated in particular, and the way your muscles tense is also very different, which affects how the straps FEEL, which changes how tight you want them.

Since you tend to be standing/walking the most, then this is the preferred adjustment position for the straps, the way I see it.

I'll put my brace on while standing, walk around a minute to settle it, readjust if needed, then put my pants on... a lot less annoying to do it that way - a lot less steps, and a lot less tweaking. If you just throw it on, then put your pants on, then you're taking them down as soon as you've done much moving to readjust it... and then you're irritated because you have to redo your clothing too, which is often in the way now.

I adjust mine like this.... the one immediately below the knee joint first, the one below that second, the one immediately above the knee joint third, the one at the top of the thigh last, for the 4 straps that go behind the leg with a brace that has 2 straps below and 2 straps above the knee. I also have a 5th wraparound strap, which is done the very last, because my brace is an unloader brace.

So, I usually end up with just one readjustment, after that bit of walkaround to settle it, instead of putting the brace on while seated, then standing, readjusting for standing, then walking around, then readjusting for having moved around and shifted it more. And having had to take clothing on and off each time which only adds to the frustration...

Hope my thoughts on the topic help... I've also used a liner called bracesox which can be helpful, but my current brace has felt liners for the fiberglass shells which eliminate the need for the sleeves.

Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: Slippyknee on October 05, 2011, 09:53:34 AM
Thanks for the tips, dm
I put the brace on this morning like you said and then stood up to do the rest of the straps. It's made a difference as i've only adjusted it once and i've had it on nearly 4 hours.

I have to step into my brace, the frame sits behind the calf and there's 2 straps below the knee at the front
1 strap above the knee on the front, then 3 at the back of the leg, 1 below and 2 above my knee.

It's taken a while but with tips from people on here and perseverence i'm gettin used to wearing it now.
Not ideal I know but if it helps my knee i'll wear it.

Whats the difference between a unloader brace and a functional one?

Thanks again
Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: dm on October 08, 2011, 01:04:43 PM
Unloader braces are designed to take the strain off one side of the joint and shift the weight load to the undamaged side of the joint by applying counterforce to the joint via a combination of flexed hinge designs and specialized strapping systems that don't load the joint with the knee bent but apply counterforce with the knee straightened to shift the weight distribution through the joint while standing.

Functional braces have different hinge designs, frames, straps designed to support the overall knee structure, primarily used for ligament instability and in cases of overall knee trauma.

Unloader braces are used in a specialized application where damage is on one side of the knee, such as when the meniscus is missing and damage is to the medial side only.  Functional braces are used in cases where there is ligament damage, bone breaks, or other damage where the entire knee needs support.

There are braces that combine aspects of both types of braces in one unit.

Hope this clarifies things for you.
Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: Slippyknee on November 18, 2011, 11:33:08 AM
just got a neoprene undersleeve for my brace, physio got it for me
it feels better than the tubigrip i`ve been wearing, and my physio says it
will help with the swelling i get later in the day.

Title: Re: Brace underwear
Post by: Kaputt_Knee on November 18, 2011, 01:05:43 PM
I used one for a while and it did help with the swelling but as I became more active it caused sweat blisters, so I switched back to the tubigrip.

I was teaching physical education in a high school at the time and then spending all day teaching skiing, so perhaps my reactions were extreme.

I hope things improve quickly now!

Sue  ;)