The 6 Best Hinged-Knee Braces for Faster Recovery (2024)

Knee pain affects approximately25% of adults. That's around 82,059,880 people! While the causes of knee pain vary from injury to OA, the effects on daily life can be significant.

Don't let knee pain leave you on the sidelines. With care from a medical professional and the right equipment, you can be back in the game.

A hinged knee brace is a great companion to those suffering from knee pain. Several types of hinged knee braces address post-surgery, OA, and sports injury needs.

Keep reading to find out how to improve recovery with a hinged knee brace.

Why Use a Hinged Knee Brace?

Hinged knee braces provide more support than other kinds of knee braces. Since they have side supports, they also protect from further injury.

Hinged knee braces prevent unwanted side-to-side motion and hyperextension. They help improve the range of motion and offer support to those with unstable knees.

If you're suffering from OA, a hinged knee brace could offer relief from knee pain.

How to Choose a Hinged Knee Brace

Selecting the right brace for you doesn't have to feel overwhelming. Before you choose a hinged knee brace, ask yourself the following questions.

What's Your Budget?

The higher-priced hinged knee braces will provide more stability and protection. They may also be more comfortable and last longer.

Can Your Skin Breathe?

The material should allow your skin to breathe while still offering support. Materials should be of good quality, but comfort plays a big role. Select material that will agree with your skin and movements.

Does It Come On/Off Easily?

Will removing your shoes to take the brace on and off annoy you? If so, you may want to steer clear of a sleeved hinged knee brace. Instead, opt for a velcro-strapped option.

IsYour Patella Under Pressure?

If your knee feels uncomfortable pressure from the top, you will be more comfortable with an open patella-hinged knee brace. On the other hand, if you'd rather have patella(knee-cap) protection, pick a brace that covers it up. The phrase "open popliteal" means the brace has an opening around the patella.

Do You Need a Four Point Leverage System?

A four-point leverage system supports the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) by using four specific places for leverage. Points one and four provide anterior (from the front) support. Points two and three support from the opposite side of the leg (posterior).

The first point is a cuff on the thigh and rotates the tibia from the front (anterior). The second point, a cuff above the calf muscle, counteracts this pressure. This point allows tibia rotation from behind (the posterior)

Point three is a strap that connects to the hinge bars. This draws in the kneebars from behind. Counteracting point three, the fourth point is a front strap below the knee. This draws the brace hinge in and allows tibial rotation from behind.

This four-point leverage system can reduce ACL strain by 50%. Weak or recovering muscles surrounding the ACL benefit from this system.

1. DonJoy Playmaker II Knee Brace

The 6 Best Hinged-Knee Braces for Faster Recovery (1)

The DonJoy Playmaker II Knee Brace provides support and protection for those with ACL, MCL, LCL, Meniscus injuries, and hyperextended knees. Soccer, baseball, and basketball athletes with mild to moderate ligament injuries benefit from this brace as well.

Designed with comfort, convenience, and support in mind, the DonJoy Playmaker II knee brace will help you stay in the game.

Brace Features

  • The Hi10™ fabric is designed to provide maximum comfort and a personalized fit.
  • Advanced Spacer Fabric (New from DonJoy) helps wearers stay cool during any activity level
  • Easy to adjust with molded strap tabs (only available on Drytex material) and secure comfortable fit
  • Wraparound style makes it easy to wear and adjust without removing shoes
  • Open around the patella

This strap-on-style knee brace uses the four-points-of-leverage system to further protect the ACL.

2. DonJoy Sport Economy Hinged Knee Brace

This brace provides light support for day-to-day life or sports activity. Those with MCL, LCL injuries, general knee pain, mild OA, torn meniscus, patella instability, or contusions should try the DonJoy Sport Drytex Economy knee brace.

This brace offers padding and cover for the embedded side hinges. This feature makes it available for situations where hinged knee braces are usually not allowed.

The Drytex Economy is available in wraparound or sleeve style. Neoprene and Drytex material with a cut-out behind the knee makes this brace comfortable during activity.

Brace Features

  • Padded and unexposed hinges are ideal for those who can't wear exposed hinged braces
  • Removable polycentric hinges with 10-3/4" aluminum uprights
  • Neoprene and Drytex provide a comfortable and secure fit
  • Cutout behind the knee prevents bunching and provides airflow
  • Easy to take on and remove
  • Available in wraparound or sleeve style
  • Thigh strap and calf strap give extra support during activity
  • Buttress can be added for extra support to the patella
  • Open around the patella

The Drytex material is only available in a wraparound design.

3. DonJoy OA Reaction Web Knee Brace

This knee brace is ideal for those with early or mild osteoarthritis (OA). Those with narrowing joints spaces will benefit from the Donjoy OA Reaction Web as well.

TheOA Reaction Web knee brace from DonJoy provides support and comfort during mild to moderate exercise. Wear this brace if you're an OA sufferer who likes to golf, play tennis, walk, or run. The OA Reaction Web provides support for everyday activities as well.

Its breathable web design allows you to keep moving with comfort. The OA Reaction web is made from patented silicone material that helps it stay in place.

Brace Features

  • Patented silicone material provides a non-slip cup effect
  • Silicone web technology provides shock absorption
  • Open around the patella
  • Lightweight and low profile makes it easy to wear with almost any outfit
  • Wraparound, adjustable, four-way design is easy to take on and off
  • Web design is open and lightweight providing maximum airflow

The DonJoy OA Reaction Web knee brace provides the most lightweight and open design of any other OA knee brace available.

4. DonJoy Bionic Fullstop Knee Brace

The Bionic Fullstop knee brace is perfect for those recovering from ACL injuries. This pull-on knee brace can also be worn preventatively to protect from knee injuries.

The Bionic Fullstop prevents hyperextension with dampening hinges on either side. The dampening hinges also serve to improve the joint mechanics of post-surgery and injured knees.

Brace Features

  • Pull-on style
  • Adjustable straps for a personal fit
  • Anti-migration technology prevents unwanted movement
  • Hinge prevents hyperextension
  • Four Point leverage system prevents hyperextension
  • Compression and thermal heat regulation
  • Reflective properties can be seen in low-light conditions
  • Open around the patella

Adjustable straps help wearers personalize this hinged brace fit. Anti-migration technology helps it keep from slipping out of place.

5. DonJoy Reaction Web Hinged Knee Brace

The DonJoy Reaction Web is a companion to indoor, outdoor, water, and land athletes. Its unique web design shifts weight away from painful areas of the knee. The web and hinges work together to absorb shock, allowing wearers to keep on moving.

This brace is worn by professional football players, volleyball players, snowboarders, and the US Ski Team. You don't have to be a professional to enjoy the benefits of this brace. Runners, golfers, walkers, hikers, tennis, and soccer players will enjoy the DonJoy Reaction Web knee brace.

Those with Osgood-Schlatter Disease and Meniscus tears should check out the Reaction web hinged knee brace. The Reaction Web also helps those with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome and Chondromalacia Patella (Runner's Knee).

Suffering from Quad or Patellar Tendonitis? The DonJoy Reaction Web hinged knee brace can help you. This brace is also designed for those with general Patellar tracking issues and instability.

Brace Features

  • Web design shifts weight away from the pain area and absorbs shock
  • Lightweight construction consists of elastomer. No neoprene or latex.
  • Comes with optional undersleeve (85% nylon, 15% spandex) for added comfort.
  • Easy-to-use velcro straps on top and bottom help stay in place.
  • Open web design provides breathability.
  • Can be worn on the right or left knee.

If worn with the undersleeve, the patella is covered. However, without an undersleeve, this brace does not cover the patella.

7. ProCare Reddie Hinged Knee Brace

The Reddie hinged knee bracebyis suitable for those with milder injuries or support needs. If you've had a mild MCL or LCL sprain (or both), the ProCare Reddie is for you.

Those with post-arthroscopic meniscectomies or mild OAwill also benefit from the ProCare Reddie hinged knee brace. This brace is also recommended for those with mild global instabilities and/or hyperextended knees.

The ProCare Reddie works by stabilizing collateral ligaments and medial and lateral meniscus.

Brace Features

  • Made of neoprene
  • Wrap around style makes putting on and taking off convenient
  • Back of knee cut-out prevents sweat accumulation and bunching
  • Open popliteal only
  • Adjustable straps allow for a personalized fit
  • The posterior strap allows for one-time proper hinge positioning
  • Removable polycentric hinges give medial and lateral support

ProCare and DonJoy are owned by the same parent company, DJO. ProCare reflects the same high quality as DJO products.

The Best Hinged Knee Brace for You - In Conclusion

A hinged knee brace can help those with soreness, sports injuries, or OA.

Knee braces with a webbed design are great for land and water sports. The webbing also allows for added ventilation during wear.

Padded, concealed, and removable hinges provide more versatile options for some athletes.

At Ortho Bracing, we have a variety of braces for the knee and cryotherapy products for the knee. We carry thevery best brands, including Bregg, DonJoy, ProCare, and Aircast.Enjoy free shipping when you order $149.00 or more. Also Check out ourCold Therapy Machinesand otherrecovery products including:

Breg Polar Care Cube

Breg Polar Care Wave Cold Therapy System

Breg Polar Care Wave Knee Cold Therapy System

DonJoy Sully Shoulder Brace

Breg Polar Care Cube Replacement Pads

DonJoy Tru Pull Lite Knee Brace

DonJoy Ultrasling Pro Shoulder Immobilizer

For more content on knee injury prevention and recovery, read on:

Best Knee Compression Sleeves

BestIce Machines for Knees

Best Cold Therapy Units for Faster Recovery

What Is Cryotherapy? Benefits, How to Do It At Home or a Clinic

Best Neck StretcherDevices for ImmediateRecovery

The 6 Best Hinged-Knee Braces for Faster Recovery (2024)

FAQs

What is the difference between a knee brace and a hinged knee brace? ›

Most knee braces can be broadly categorized as hinged or non-hinged. As the name suggests, hinged braces incorporate hinges, which allow the brace to provide more support and stability to the knee, and promote proper alignment. Non-hinged braces offer less support but are still useful in many situations.

How many hours a day should you wear a hinged knee brace? ›

General Recommendations. In the initial stages of recovery or following a knee injury, wearing a knee brace for 2 to 4 hours at a time can provide good support and stability. Gradually, as your knee strengthens and the healing progresses, you may not need to wear your brace for as long.

What knee brace do doctors recommend? ›

Unloader braces are the most common brace providers suggest for people with knee arthritis.

Which knee support is best? ›

Using a closed patellar support is best if you are suffering from a mild strain or sprain, but can also be used to alleviate symptoms of tendonitis and arthritis. They can also provide useful protection for sports which put a lot of strain on your knees, like weightlifting and rugby.

Can you walk with a hinged knee brace? ›

You can walk in a prophylactic or functional hinged knee brace. However, how much you should be walking post-surgery or post-injury is between you and your doctor.

Should you sleep with a hinged knee brace? ›

Your doctor will likely advise you not to wear your brace at night except for special circ*mstances. These circ*mstances include post-surgery recovery periods and when your doctor wants to restrict knee movement during rest. These are usually short-term treatment methods used to aid during recovery.

When should you not wear a knee brace? ›

Typically, a complex knee brace is worn for the first year. After that, a brace usually isn't needed for low-level activities. Keep in mind it can take up to two years to return to baseline stability. Once you're returned to full function, you can stop wearing a brace.

Should a knee brace be worn under or over pants? ›

If you wear functional knee braces or post op knee braces over your pants and bend your knee, the pants will pull the brace down. If you have a cotton-lycra knee sleeve or tight leggings that are not slippery, you can wear your functional knee brace over your pants.

What is the alternative to a knee brace? ›

Wearable compressive equipment, including compression knee sleeves, hose, leg sleeves, and pants, are functionally comparable to neoprene sleeves. In contrast to braces, com- pressive sleeves lack rigid musculoskeletal support and are made from a range of elastic, sock-like materials.

What are the disadvantages of a knee brace? ›

Because the knee brace provides support, the muscles may become less active and may atrophy. This can lead to further instability and weakness in the knee. To prevent this, it is important to only use the knee during activities that cause your pain.

Should I wrap my knee if it hurts? ›

Wrap your knee.

Or use a knee brace for support. This is called compression. The wrap should be snug but not too tight. The right compression should control swelling of the knee.

Is a knee stabilizer better than a hinged knee brace? ›

The stabilizers offer a slightly more advanced support, while the hinged braces confer the most advanced support due to their ability to more or less mimic the natural movement of the knee.

Which brand is good for knee support? ›

Knee braces for arthritis compared
PriceSizes
KARM Adjustable Knee Brace$$XS–6XL
MODVEL Knee Sleeve$S–XXXL
Bauerfeind Sports Knee Support$$$XS–XXL
Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Support with Bilateral Hinges$$$S–XXXL
4 more rows
Mar 11, 2024

What are the three different types of knee braces? ›

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons,5 knee braces fit into several categories: (1) prophylactic—braces intended to prevent or reduce the severity of knee injuries in contact sports; (2) functional—braces designed to provide stability for unstable knees; and (3) rehabilitative—braces designed to ...

What is the difference between a knee cap and a hinged knee cap? ›

These braces are easy to put on and take off, and can be used while training - they don't have the bulk and heaviness of hinged braces. Hinged Knee Braces are often used post-surgery, for patients and athletes who need a higher level of protection and support.

Which is better, a knee stabilizer or a knee brace? ›

However, unlike patella stabilizers, which are primarily designed to more gently align the patella, full knee braces are more robust and able to provide protection against patella dislocations and ligament injuries. They often feature additional straps or hinges that control knee movement.

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