Best Hinged Knee Braces – Ultimate Buying Guide & Reviews 2018
The knee joint is the largest of all joints in the human body and it plays a huge role in our daily functioning and in helping to bear our body weight. Hinged knee braces help to stabilize and support the knee to reduce symptoms and also prevent further damage to an injured knee.
With the knee, we walk, bend, sit, and engage in sporting activities, that’s why it is pertinent to keep the knee in best shape.
Knee pain is one of the commonest causes of visits to the GP. Common causes of knee pain include osteoarthritis, prepatellar bursitis, meniscus tear, locked knee, ligament sprain, knee injury, gout, and psoriasis.
Conservative management is most often what is needed to resolve knee pain. Conservative approach includes sufficient rest for the knee, application of ice, protection using knee braces, and use of analgesics.
Hinged Knee Braces: Top Picks
Types of Knee Braces
There are many types of Knee braces in the market, and they may be classified into hinged, sleeve-type, wrap-around, knee strap, and closed and open patella knee braces based on their structure and how they is worn.
Another classification categorizes knee braces based on their functionalities and purposes into functional, load-specific, rehab, and prophylactic knee braces.
There are several types of knee braces available to choose from, such as sleeves, wraparound braces, hinged braces, and straps.
Knee sleeves provide knee compression and great relief of knee inflammation. They fit very well under clothing. They are most suited for mild knee pain.
Wraparound or dual-wrap braces provide a higher support than sleeves and provide significant support and relief from mild to moderate knee pain
A Knee strap is perfect for use for people with jumper’s knee or patella tracking. It fits well under clothing and it is worn mainly to prevent patellar injuries and lower knee pain by compressing the patella.
Closed and open patella braces. Patella braces provide support and protection for the patella and lower knee.
The open patella braces are those ones with a hole in the center. The closed ones have no holes at the center
The following types of knee braces are based on the purpose and functionality of the brace.
Functional knee braces are meant to provide extra and minimal support to the knee in cases of mild acute knee injury.
Load-Specific Braces - As their name implies, these braces are suitable for people who have severe knee conditions such as arthritis and who need to take the pressure or load off the affected knee.
Rehab Knee Braces - Rehab knee braces are meant for people who have just had knee surgery. It ensures the knee is kept in a neutral position to promote its healing and protect it from further damage.
Rehabilitation braces are typically very rigid, allowing limited movement of the knee at limited speeds, just so the knee joint is well rested to expedite its healing.
Prophylactic Knee Brace - Prophylactic knee braces are those ones used during contact sports to prevent acute knee injuries.
For this article, we would focus only on the hinged knee braces, their functions, types, and reviews.
What is a Hinged Knee Brace?
A hinged knee brace is one with hinges that provides stability to the knee and prevent its hyperextension, as against the sleeve and wrap knee braces.
The hinged braces allow for movement of the knee only to a certain extent, so as to prevent damage and lower the inflammation in the knee, thereby reducing the pain.
Hinged knee braces are mostly used to stabilize the knee after surgery by keeping the knee in proper alignment as it flexes.
Hinged knee braces are either soft or rigid. The soft ones provide less support for the knee.
People who have ligament injuries, knee arthritis, meniscus injuries, and degenerative bone disorders would benefit from wearing hinged knee braces to continue daily activities and sports with minimal pain and discomfort.
Benefits of Using Hinged Braces
Knee braces come with one bar or two called hinges on each side.
These bars or hinges are not present in the sleeve types of braces, hence the uniqueness of the hinged knee braces.
These hinges provide extra support and stability to the knee joint, especially to the cruciate and collateral ligaments and this is not found with the other types of knee braces.
Knee injuries involving the ligaments, therefore, are best supported and stabilized by a hinged brace.
Hinged knee braces are therefore, compatible with daily activities and sporting activities, where they provide strong support to the knee.
Drytext Hinged Knee Brace
The drytext hinged brace made by DonJoy has a lot of fantastic properties.
First off is its material. This knee brace is made from a hypoallergenic material, therefore best for use for anyone with sensitive skin. Additionally, the brace is adjustable to provide more comfort, support, and stability.
The Drytext Hinged Knee brace is perfect to treat a wide range of knee conditions including patella tendonitis, medial and lateral cruciate ligament injuries, chondromalacia, and patellofemoral malalignment.
Polycentric Hinged Knee Brace
The Polycentric Hinged Knee brace produced by McDavid is another fantastic knee brace for anyone with a sensitive skin.
It is made of a latex-free thermal compression material. It is suitable for both right and left knees.
- Very effective for promoting recovery in early stages of knee injury
- It fits perfectly
- It provides strong support for use during sports
- It is comfortable to wear
- May be very difficult to pull off if one has an ankle injury.
Ultra Knee Brace by Shock Doctor
The Ultra Knee Brace made by shock Doctor uses cotton blend fabric which is highly breathable, ensuring airflow and anti-perspiration. It provides strong support and stability to the knee.
- Checks lateral movement of the knee to keep it stable and protected from further damage
- Fast relief of pain after a knee injury
- Compatible with contact sports such as soccer.
- May irritate the skin
Hinged Knee Brace with Cross Straps by McDavid
The Hinged Knee brace by McDavid is unique for its perforated back panels which prevents perspiration and keep the knee comfortable and dry when in use.
It allows free movement of the knee while still providing strong support.
- It has a heavy duty design which makes it compatible for sports such as running, tennis, and basketball
- Provides good relief of pain, and inflammatory symptoms of acute knee injury.
- May be smaller than one’s exact size.
Knee Brace with Dual Hinges by Shock Doctor
This knee brace by shock doctor differs from the previous one with its lack of cross straps.
However, it has a patent-pending X-Fit lower strap that wraps well around the leg and goes over the hinge to offer stronger stability when the knee is bent.
This Knee brace also comes with pull tabs that allow easy removal and wearing of the brace.
- Provides ample support for the knee such that post-workout knee pain is minimized.
- Provides more lateral and posterior knee support than most other knee braces
- Provides significant relief from pain and other symptoms of acute knee injury.
- The Velcro and seams may wear off after some period of use.
Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges by McDavid
This knee brace made by McDavid is fantastic for the independent manipulation of the side arms it allows for.
Its exterior is made of a nylon fabric which is less vulnerable against wear and tear.
- Provides strong support especially for those who stand for long period of time in a day.
- Provides good stability for the knee if one is overweight.
- Prevents against post-exercise knee pain
- Provides significant relief from pain from inflammatory knee diseases and acute knee injury.
ConsMay irritate the skin if worn for longer than four hours at a time.
Stabilized Hinged Knee Support by Neo-G
The Stabilized hinged knee support by Neo-G is very effective for pain relief from arthritis, muscle strains, ligament sprains, ligament tears, meniscus injuries, and fractures.
It comes as a one-size-fits-all design, making it perfect for most people.
- Very suitable for persons with long legs
- Supports day to day activities and knee movements including dancing, jumping, and running
- Very good option for pain relief before knee surgery.
- May wear off and tear with prolonged use.
Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller
The Hg80 hinged knee brace by Mueller is unique for its antimicrobial property with which it prevent bacterial growth and multiplication on it.
It perfectly fits on the knee and encloses the knee cap.
- It is very easy to wash
- It minimizes inflammation and swelling that may occur in the knee after a period of activity
- Provides great support of lateral movement while holding the knee in place.
- Gets sweaty when it is worn for a long period of time or in hot weather conditions.
Hinged Knee Brace by Vive
This Hinged knee brace manufactured by Vive is made of a very soft fabric which allows for strong compression and pain relief at the same time.
Additionally, unlike most other hinged braces, it is possible to remove the hinges from this brace to make it fit to one’s desires and comfort.
- Can be adjusted to achieve a custom fit
- Highly durable
- Provides significant relief ot pain
- Made of breathable material which provides comfort and free movement of the knee
- Affordable price for its superb quality
- Perfect for use for those who have sustained injury involving the knee joint.
- Has an unpleasant smell when you take it out of the pack first time
Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace by Mueller
The Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace made by Mueller offers an adjustable fit especially for persons with weak knees.
It is suitable for use both on the right at knee.
- Can be adjusted to allow for custom fit and provide individualized comfort
- Provides light support of the knee for those with mild knee pain
- Applies good amount of pressure on the knee to achieve resolution of symptoms.
- The Velcro straps are not firm enough, and may loosen over time.
Hinged Knee Brace Buying Guide
Consider the following important things before you buy a hinged knee brace.
How much Compression is needed?
For post-surgery or severe knee injuries, you would require very strong knee support and strong hinged knee braces would be recommended.
These will provide ample support and protection to the knee to aid healing
Comfort: While you may seek strong compression, you also want to go for knee braces with breathable and soft material to allow some degree of comfort, and reduce excess sweating.
Level of Protection required: For post-surgery and severe knee injuries, more rigid hinged knee braces are required to foster healing of the damaged knee structures.
For mild pain from a mild knee injury from a fall, soft hinged knee braces would do.
Precautions to Take when Using Knee Braces
While using hinged knee braces, ensure the following tips are kept in mind.
- Do not resume sporting activities until recommended by your doctor
- When given the signal to start engaging in sports or exercises, ensure you limit the knee activities to less strenuous ones
- Always check the position of the knee braces while active and adjust accordingly.
Knee braces are of various types, however, the hinged knee braces provide strongest support and protection for the knee of all knee braces. They work by stabilizing, supporting and securing the knee to prevent injuries and resolve symptoms.
There are many types of hinged knee braces. However, before selecting which hinged knee brace to buy, ensure you factor in the amount of protection, support, and comfort our knee should have.