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Author Topic: Unloader brace  (Read 1397 times)

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Offline heather k from wales

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Unloader brace
« on: June 12, 2004, 11:01:35 PM »
I have medial OA.  I have pain, always on the medial side whilst walking, sometimes its not too bad, other times its a struggle to walk.
We had some snow in January, so I pulled out my old Donjoy defiance, ACL brace, as I was afraid of slipping and injuring my knee.  I was suprised to find that it really helped to ease the medial pain, and wore it on and off until a few months ago when I started relying on it most of the time to help ease the pain.
The problem is, I now often have pain whilst wearing the brace, (the pain is far worse without the brace) it does'nt benefit me as much as it did a month or so ago.
A doctor told me December that the pain is probably due to joint space narrowing.  I really dont see any varus/valgus deformity and have never been told that I have it.
I am wondering if an Unloader brace would be more beneficial to me.  I really dont want to pay such a high price for one if it is'nt the right solution.

Do you have to have valgus or varus deformity to benefit from an Unloader???

Please reply if you have any idea,


« Last Edit: June 12, 2004, 11:03:31 PM by heather_k »
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Offline dm

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Re: Unloader brace
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2004, 06:17:35 AM »
I don't have any obvious deformity, and have been wearing an unloader for almost a year. I started wearing an off the shelf brace, which is the least costly variety, and moved to a custom model about 8 months after getting the first brace, when it was very clear that it was helping me.

My advice would be to see what you can do about getting an off the shelf unloader. Donjoy has one called the Oadjuster, which is like a Defiance, but has hinges on one side - in case of medial issues, on the lateral side - to allow you to apply pressure to "unload" the joint. I had one of these to start with. It has a slightly flexible frame, so that it can be "tuned" a bit to fit a little better, whereas custom braces are a lot more rigid. The oadjuster can be adjusted with a simple hex key, making it very easy to add or decrease the unloading effect without going to the manufacturer for an adjustment. You might look at they have a lot of the off the shelf oa braces, and it will give you some idea of the cost, since you sound like you're paying for it yourself. If you get your doctor to write you the script, you can order online from anyplace you like, since you're paying. I would imagine that a brace specialist near you can do the fitting of it, providing you order the right size.

Hope this helps some. Message me if you have questions I might be able to help with.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.