The Reason Athletes wear Hinged Knee Braces

Generally speaking, there are two main types of knee braces. The first is Functional knee braces, which help provide stability for previously injured joints. The second is Prophylactic knee brace, which are worn in an attempt to prevent injuries. How they work and their effectiveness is a bit varies depending on the type of activity, condition, as well loading amount and rate. Also important to keep in mind is that no brace can replace proper strengthening of the joint and surrounding musculature. Think of it as football padding, whereas the best protection you can give your body is strength and size, but the padding is an extra support and defense.

Athletes typically wear a hinged knee brace to prevent an existing or surgically repaired/rehabbed injury from recurring or worsening, but also in some cases athletes wear the hinged brace to prevent an injury altogether. A hinged knee brace allows the knee to travel mostly through its normal range of motion while providing enhanced lateral (sideways) stability. This allow the knee to hinge but not cave laterally, which is when the majority of injuries occur to the knee. The hinged brace will also prevent hyper-extension of the knee by limiting how much the joint can extend – another very common cause of injury in sports. In summary, a hinged knee brace only allows the knee joints to move in a motion that is safe for the structure of the knee to stay intact.