Unloader knee brace for unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis

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( The findings were presented as a poster at the Indian Society for Study of Pain (ISSP) National Conference at Mumbai, 2014)

It is my pleasure, from Gaman Physiocare, to share the findings of our study.

Knee cheap online viagra osteoarthritis (OA) - a common disabling condition in adults – is characterized by persistent joint pain and limitation of function. The cascading cycle of bio-mechanical and biochemical factors destabilizes and destroys the cartilage matrix.

It is accompanied by degenerative changes in the underlying bone (cysts, osteophytes), as well as the surrounding soft tissues (capsular contracture, ligament laxity, and muscle wasting). It adversely affects quality of life by impeding the ability to work, and performing recreational and daily living activities.

unloader knee brace knee pain osteoarthritisThe therapy modalities available include electrotherapy, exercise, knee brace, genicular knee blocks, and surgical correction.

Similar to surgical re-alignment – the concept of ‘unloading,’ the affected compartment – using the unloader knee brace aims at correcting the mechanical axis deviation. The unloader brace is a 3-point leverage system with a single upright and dual diagonal dynamic force straps. It works by altering the joint alignment, correcting the mechanical axis, and off loading the joint.

Objectives were to determine the effectiveness of unloader knee brace in providing pain relief and improvement in function in active patients with OA knee and malalignment. It was a prospective cohort study spanning two years (2011-2013), involving 44 patients (28 females, 16 males), with a mean age of 61 years (range: 48-87), suffering for over 2 years, and having moderate to severe uni-compartmental osteoarthritis according to Kellgren-Lawrence grading.

Assessment was done with WOMAC questionnaires (pain, stiffness, function), before receiving the brace, after 6 weeks and after 6 months. Baseline WOMAC scores were: extreme difficulty (n=2), severe difficulty (n=14), moderate difficulty (n=22) and slight difficulty (n=6)

Results Of the 44 patients who underwent the trial, 2 of them discontinued due to increase in pain, WOMAC score at 6 weeks as compared to baseline showed a statistically significant improvement (paired t-test: p <0.05). This effect was more pronounced after 6 months.

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Discussion: When the sufferer has a moderate intensity of pain and difficulty in function, the benefit was greatest. With severe symptoms the symptoms were satisfactory. When the symptoms were slight, the response was inadequate. Pain relief and functional activities, in severe and moderate pain and disability, improved after six weeks, which was sustained till 6 months.

References

  • A Mechanical Theory for the Effectiveness of Bracing for Medial Compartment Osteoarthritis of Knee. Ramsey D K, Briem K, Axe MJ, Synder- Mackler L; J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2007 Nov;89(11):2398-407.
  • Unloader Braces for Medial Compartment Knee Osteoarthritis. Implications on Mediating Progression. Dan K Ramsey, Mary E Russell; Sports Health, September 2009, 1(5).
  • Use of an Unloader Brace for medial or lateral compartment Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Briggs KK, Matheny LM, Steadman JR, Aultman H; AAOS AM Podium Presentation, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 12, 2010.
Dr Nandakishore Yarramsetti

Post author

BPT (NIMS), M.S. Sports (UK), MHPC (UK), MCSP (UK), MIAP | Director, Gaman Physiocare Ltd

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