When most people talk about the arthritis in their knees, they are referring to a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear inside your knee joints.
In some people, arthritis may affect mostly the inside of the knee. This may be because the inside of the knee often bears more of a person's weight than the outside of the knee.
A special brace called an "unloading brace" may help take some of the pressure off the inside of your knee when you are standing.
An unloading brace does not cure your arthritis. But it may help relieve symptoms such as knee pain or buckling when you move around. People who want to delay having knee replacement surgery may want to try using unloading braces.
There are 2 types of unloading braces:
It is not clear how well unloading braces work. Some people say they have fewer symptoms when they use them. Some medical studies have tested these braces. But this research has not proven whether or not unloading braces provide help for people with knee arthritis.
Paluska SA. Knee braces. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby; 2010:chap 193.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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