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Author Topic: Arthritis Braces?  (Read 4562 times)

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Offline paradiddle

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Arthritis Braces?
« on: April 09, 2008, 02:13:39 PM »
Has anyone had any success with these braces? I'm just looking to keep my knee from clunking (bone on bone on inside medial). I want to help my exrecise walking.

I have seen Arthritis Braces from $70 to $700 dollar. I think they are supposed to push in on the medial side to relieve bone on bone pressure.

Offline jathib

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2008, 03:37:15 PM »
The brace you're talking about is an unloader brace. I wouldn't get one of those without your doctor knowing about it. They are used if you have only one bad compartment in your knee. They will shift your weight to the good side of your knee which could be either the medial or lateral side. I had only minimal success and it didn't last long. The brace was also too hot and uncomfortable to wear long term.

For just arthritis I wouldn't get a brace. Any brace tends to make your muscles weaker and that is exactly what you don't want when you have arthritis.

Offline Nettan

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 04:34:29 PM »
I would go see your OS and get help with this. I know many that have been able to put off surgery with wearing a unloader brace. Even if a brace might take over some of the muscles, bracing used for this specific case is another story. You can't with getting muscles stronger unload one side where you have bone on bone.
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Plumb

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 12:37:33 AM »
I had an unloader brace. I had a GII custom unloader.  Insurance paid for the thing 100% .  I had an RX from the OS. 

Did it work? No. My knee was too far gone.  It all depends on your joint space.  I was able to get by with out using a cane or crutches indoors.

I can't  tell you if it will work for you or not.  Your OS would be the best person to consult.  We are not doctors on this site and can not see your xrays or the overall condition of your legs and gait.

Have you ever tried the viscosupplements.  They are a hit or miss.. all depends on your joint space as well.


Offline paradiddle

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 05:01:18 AM »
My condition: Bone on bone on medial side only of right knee. fairly healthy 53 yr old.  I don't know the real definition of arthritis. All I know is that I have strong muscle structure from rehabbing after 2 knee scopes in the 90's. Inner joint gets a little loose or clunky at times. My gait is ok and I am not bowlegged.
My OS just wants to do a TKA ( I have a little or no ACL from B-ball injury in 90). I can still shoot some hoops and get around. Can't run but bike ok and I need to up my activity for weight loss.
 
The expensive un-loader braces? works for some but not all is what I hear. I would be willing to go that route if I can get a year or so. I really don't want TKA right now and I need to lose 50lbs or more. I have little pain but joint can be cranky and loose. If I can tighten it up a little even with and elastic type bandage for when I workout, that would do the trick.




Offline danthequaker

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 12:16:54 AM »
Ask your doc,

It might be the trick (unloader brace) to buy you some time.  I am 46 and wanting to buy time too.  I too need to lose some pounds but will take them one at a time.  ;)

If it will work, go for it.  I know a guy who put off surgery for 8 years with an unloader. Finally gave into surgery even though the brace was still doing the trick because he wanted to have it done B-4 he got rid of his ins.

I don't have any ins. so it was my only option other than to grin and bear it,  ;D Which wasn't much of an option anyway because I was in such pain.

I've not had much experience with the brace since I have been in it Two weeks on Monday, but I will tell you it has made a definate impact on my life.   I'm not really adjusted to it, but putting up with it is not that bad because I can't believe how it has taken the pain away and allowed me to walk.   I used to walk from the house to the car and from the car into work.   I am a teacher but spent most of the day in a chair with wheels on it sliding around from kid to kid. 

Now I jump out of the chair and move around the room.   I can stand all I want, and I am walking a couple miles every morning before going to work.

It might be your ticket, at least a temp. one.

Best to you,
Dan

Offline paradiddle

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 02:12:49 AM »
Ask your doc,

It might be the trick (unloader brace) to buy you some time.  I am 46 and wanting to buy time too.  I too need to lose some pounds but will take them one at a time.  ;)

If it will work, go for it.  I know a guy who put off surgery for 8 years with an unloader. Finally gave into surgery even though the brace was still doing the trick because he wanted to have it done B-4 he got rid of his ins.

I don't have any ins. so it was my only option other than to grin and bear it,  ;D Which wasn't much of an option anyway because I was in such pain.

I've not had much experience with the brace since I have been in it Two weeks on Monday, but I will tell you it has made a definate impact on my life.   I'm not really adjusted to it, but putting up with it is not that bad because I can't believe how it has taken the pain away and allowed me to walk.   I used to walk from the house to the car and from the car into work.   I am a teacher but spent most of the day in a chair with wheels on it sliding around from kid to kid. 

Now I jump out of the chair and move around the room.   I can stand all I want, and I am walking a couple miles every morning before going to work.

It might be your ticket, at least a temp. one.

Best to you,
Dan


Which Brace did you get and did you get it thru a doc or online.

I found a web site called kneebraces.com. It has a bunch of them all between $500-$900.

I had a sports brace after my acl tear. Simliar but not the same.

Offline plantgeek58

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 05:30:16 AM »
I've been using an unloader brace on my right knee for moderate medial compartmental OA and have found it to help a great deal. It has allowed me to function pain-free for the past year. I have the Unloader 1, which was scripted by my OS. It's much more light-weight than the previous brace I had. That was a Generation 2 Unloader and it was bulky and not very comfortable. This one fits like a glove. I hardly notice I'm wearing it unless I try to sit with my legs crossed. I haven't had any problems with muscle wastage. I do go to the gym regularly, though and don't wear the brace when I'm working out. The one bad thing about it is that it's expensive. Mine was custom fit and it cost about $1400, of which my insurance only covered half. There is supposedly a new off-the-shelf model coming out soon, but I don't know when that one will be available or how much it will cost. I would advise talking to your OS about this, however. You want to be sure to get the right kind of brace for your particular situation, otherwise you could end up worse off.
Terre
RK 7/04 part. m. menisc., plica resect., MF
    3/05 part. m. menisc., open OATS
    1/07 part l. menisc., MF, patellar chondroplasty
    9/08 MF
LK 11/04 & 8/06 part m. menisc.
     7/07 LR, patellar tendon debrid., part m. menisc.

Offline danthequaker

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2008, 11:44:31 PM »
I have Generation II Select (inside) unnloader.

I recommend you get it from your DR. so you don't mess anything up.   I'm into my third week is all, but I can tell you this, it has been a Godsend.

From the first time I put it on it relieved my pain but was a little uncomfortable.  I felt like crap the first week because "the brace" was preoccupying all my thoughts.   I can honestly say that today I went all day and didn't give it any thought.  There were times when I knew it was there, but then life is so miserable without it.  I hate to take it off at night because I have my pain back.

I thought it was going to be terribly hot and uncomfortable, and for a few days it was.  Now I can wear it with the undersleeve without much headache.  At first I wore shorts for the first hour in the morning when I would go out and walk around because I was contiually adjusting straps.  I have that down now, too.  I can't afford surgery, but I can tell you, at this point, even if I could, I am content to keep the brace.   It was a great investment.  You could maybe find a doctor who would let you buy it online or through ebay and then adjust it for you??   I don't know, but even at the cost , it's better than what it could cost you, do you know what I mean.    Ask your Dr. if it's your ticket.  It sure is mine.

Good luck!

Offline paradiddle

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 02:08:40 AM »
Thanks for all the info. I'm going back to my OS tommorrow.

In my original visit, no mention was ever made of the unloader brace.

I expect him to only be pro-surgery. I just back from an 3 level ACDF neck surgery (had 3 disks removed and plate put in) and need to get back to work. I can't take another 9 months off for a TKA.  I just want to buy some time and I think I am a good candidate for a brace, worth a try.

 

Offline paradiddle

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2008, 01:59:40 AM »
well, surprise, surprise

I'm going to get fitted for an unloader brace - don't know what kind.

Also going to try Synvisc.  anyone done that also?

Offline danthequaker

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2008, 05:42:49 PM »
Good luck, paradiddle!

Yeah, Doctors are real pro surgery until they find out you don't have insurance or money, then they will help fix you up as cheaply as possible.

Curious about the neck.  Hope you didn't get stuck in some terrible  brace for that did you?

Offline paradiddle

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Re: Arthritis Braces?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 12:16:28 AM »
I was in neck brace for 4-6 wks (I forget). I had 3 discs removed and grft bone put in along witha meatl plate to hold it all together. Feeling pretty good now. That was 9 months ago.

Offline paradiddle

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Re: Got my new OA Brace
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2008, 02:35:42 PM »
Breg Fusion OA Arthritis Knee Brace - Nice brace - a little bulky. I am also coming up on my 3rd week of Synvisc shots. The OS calls its "WD-40" for the knee. Day - day I'm ok w/o a brace. When I start to do more aggressive stuff like long walks and some light sports with lateral movement is when I have a problem. So I'll be able to report back on function.

I must admit it looks more like a sports brace, like the ones I got after I tore my ACL. The only thing that pushes on the good side is an adjustable gel pad. But I need to give it more time. Wore it all day at work under the loose pants ok and it didn't slip down like a lot of my other braces. I wasn't custom fit. The rep just asked for one measurement above my knee. I could have just bought on-line but it's going through the insurance.