Product Review: The C180 Knee Brace from Ossur
Ossur once again provides unsurpassed stability for this class of knee brace. This brace is recommended for children requiring more stability in low to medium impact activities.
Ossur is known for manufacturing high-quality braces, and this knee brace is no different. The C180 for ligament stability was manufactured mainly for children with certain rotary and ligament instability issues, but Ossur didn't cut any corners on this product. This knee brace, like everything else from Ossur, has been engineered amazingly. Utilizing specialized carbon fiber, lightweight plastics and other technologies, Ossur has created an extremely compact and highly lightweight and efficient method for stabilizing the knees of children, all at a reasonable price (when compared to a custom-fit brace). This is an off-the-shelf brace, meaning no special sizing or doctors visits are required. Simply follow the size chart below and the brace should be a near perfect fit.
Construction Overview and Featured Technologies
Ossur has outdone themselves on the C180 - this knee brace appears to have been manufactured with the utmost precision. Perhaps the most surprising part is the adjustability of the brace. Though it should fit pretty well off the shelf, it does also come with a heat moldable frame, adjustable ligament strap, an adjustable hinge depth, and an optional patella cup for added stability and protection. The brace is made from incredible lightweight and non-corrosive materials (machine-woven carbon fiber, lightweight plastics, durable resins) which should contribute to a long life. In addition, the compact nature of the device makes it easy to take on and off, as there aren't any bulky parts that stick out and are hard to deal with. This also makes the knee brace very easy to store away when not needed.
Ossur's Accutrack Hinge Technology
The brace makes good use of Ossur's engineered Accutrack technology, which was designed specifically with the anatomy of a child in mind. During growth, the knee changes along with the rest of the body. Ossur recognizes this and has come up with a special Accutrack hinge which is used in the design for the Ossur C180 knee brace. This special technology tracks the child's knee movement as accurately as possible and assists in stabilization of the knee, while still allowing a great range and freedom of movement, without overdoing it so much as to contribute to the instability issues that the brace corrects. Overall, this is a very impressive device.
Usage and Fit
The brace is first chosen according to the measurements taken. After placing the brace on the knee, if the fit isn't perfect it can be adjusted via heatmolding, and also through the various straps included on the device. Typically, the brace should fit well enough to where no adjustments are needed. Since we didn't have any children to test the brace on, Shop-Orthopedics can't comment on the fit. In our experience, Ossur generally does a magnificent job of providing a near perfect fit for off the shelf knee braces direct from the factory.
Adjusting the C180 with a Heat Gun for the perfect fit
Ossur's knee braces generally fit very snug and allow for little if no play between the knee and the device. This in turn provides for excellent knee stability when the device is in place. During movement, most, if not all, of Ossur's designs stay perfectly in place and require little adjustment (though occasionally, as with all knee braces, you may need to stop and make an adjustment.) The C180 is designed for low to medium impact, which should help reduce the possibility of needing an adjustment simply because such activities don't require as much movement. If you need a higher impact brace, check out some other knee braces from Ossur. Simple things like a brisk walk or a slow jog will likely be OK for this knee brace.
This brace looks very good overall. Ossur provides very good off the shelf braces like this in adult sizes, and, during similar reviews, those all pass with flying colors. Since this brace was designed for smaller legs, we unfortunately don't have anyone to test fit them on. Though we haven't tried the brace on, just by taking a look at the superb build quality on the brace, we are confident that it is an excellent piece of equipment and will provide plenty of stability where needed.