Yes, for the most part a knee brace will be needed to help with a torn meniscus. Click here to view the best knee brace for a torn meniscus.
A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc of cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the knee joint. When the meniscus tears, it can be extremely painful and debilitating.
One of the primary benefits of wearing a brace is immobilization. When you have a tear, the meniscus becomes weakened and is at risk for further tearing or damage. The rigid supports of a brace limit side-to-side motion and rotation of the knee, essentially immobilizing the joint and allowing the meniscus opportunity to heal without being overstrained. Braces are often prescribed following meniscus surgery for this same purpose - to protect the knee while it mends.
Some types of knee braces apply gentle, therapeutic compression around the joint. This compression can help reduce pain and swelling, which also allows for increased mobility and function. When a meniscus tear causes fluid buildup and inflammation in the knee, compression from a brace can ease discomfort and aid in healing. The added support and stability from the compressive forces of a brace also limit the risk of the knee giving out or weakening further.
A quality knee brace also acts as protective padding for the vulnerable joint. When you have a torn meniscus, any collisions, falls or blows to the knee can aggravate the injury. A brace cushions and safeguards the knee, absorbing impact that could otherwise damage the torn meniscus. Braces with bilateral hinges even redistribute forces away from the injured area. For athletes or active individuals, this protective element helps prevent repeat injuries or tearing.
Proprioception refers to your body’s ability to sense the position, location and orientation of itself and its parts. Knee braces can improve proprioception in a damaged knee joint by providing input through compression and contact on the skin surrounding the joint. This added external feedback helps the muscles surrounding the joint activate and contract in a more coordinated manner. Improved proprioception leads to better joint control and stability, preventing the knee from twisting or moving in ways that could further damage the meniscus.
Following surgery to repair or remove part of a damaged meniscus, your doctor will likely prescribe a knee brace to stabilize the joint and restrict movement as you recover. Protecting the knee post-surgery is crucial to avoid disrupting the repaired tissue and allow proper healing. Braces also offload some body weight from the recovering leg while increasing confidence to resume walking. Gradually transitioning from rigid braces to flexible braces and sleeve supports is often part of the post-operative plan. The right sequence of bracing aids the entire rehabilitation process.
Choosing the Right Knee Brace
If your physician recommends trying a brace for your torn meniscus, make sure to choose one designed specifically for this knee condition. Key features to look for include:
- Rigid supports and hinges on both sides - This type of bilateral brace will immobilize the knee most effectively after an injury.
- Adjustable straps - This allows you to control compression and customize the brace fit.
- Open patella design - An open cutout minimizes pressure on the kneecap.
- Anti-slip silicone grips - This prevents the brace from migrating or sliding out of place.
- Breathable fabric - Seek moisture-wicking material, especially for all-day wear.
Only use a brace as directed by your doctor, and discontinue use if it causes increased pain or discomfort. Be cautious of relying solely on a brace, and be sure to also get sufficient rest, ice therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy exercises for optimal recovery. However, a knee brace can certainly make life more manageable while protecting your knee following a meniscus tear.
When to See a Doctor
It’s important to see an orthopedic doctor promptly if you suspect a torn meniscus, rather than just trying to brace the knee yourself. The physician can confirm the extent of damage via MRI and determine if surgery is necessary. Even with conservative treatment, a combination approach works best. Seeing a physical therapist to build strength and range of motion is also key. While a brace aids in the recovery process, working closely with doctors guides the optimal treatment plan.
Find a Knee Brace Today
If you've recently suffered a painful meniscus tear in your knee, don't wait to seek treatment - a high-quality knee brace could aid your recovery. Our store carries specialized braces designed specifically for torn meniscus injuries, with rigid supports to immobilize your knee joint and allow the area to properly heal. Don't chance further damaging a torn meniscus by leaving your knee unstable and unprotected. With customizable compression and straps, our medical-grade braces provide the stabilization you need while also easing pain and swelling.
Visit our online shop today to browse our selection of proven meniscus tear braces, or call to speak with our knowledgeable customer service team about finding the right brace and recovery plan for your specific needs.