Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are incredibly common knee injuries that often occur in athletes in sports such as football, soccer, and basketball. The severity of an ACL injury is determined by a graded scale. In a Grade 1 Sprain, the ACL has only been slightly stretched but it is still capable of keeping the knee stable. In a Grade 2 Sprain, the ACL has been stretched to the point where it is loose and is often diagnosed as a partial tear. In a Grade 3 Sprain, the ACL has been completely torn and the knee is totally unstable. Knowing which ACL knee brace to use depending on your situation is crucial to your recovery.
ACL Knee Brace Recommendations
When an ACL injury occurs you may hear a “popping” sound followed by pain and swelling, loss of full range of motion, tenderness, and discomfort when you try to walk. Your doctor will examine your knee to determine the severity of the injury and will put you in a brace based on the grade of your sprain. Grade 1, 2, and 3 braces for ACL injuries are almost always hinged. Refer to the following article for more information: Preventing ACL Injuries: Tips and Resources for Coaches and Student Athletes
Mueller Hg80 Hinged Knee Brace
The Mueller Hg80 is a highly recommended knee brace for patients who have suffered a Grade 1 ACL injury. The triaxle hinges of the brace provide the ideal level of support for a Grade 1 Sprain but it doesn’t take anything away from your ability to bend and flex your leg. The moisture-wicking fabric used in the brace is a welcome bonus as well.
McDavid Hinged Knee Brace With Cross Straps
This McDavid Hinged Knee Brace offers the moderate protection, mobility, and stability often needed by patients who have suffered a Grade 2 sprain of their ACL. The four elastic crossing straps in addition to the brace’s hinges provide the comfort and stability you need to successfully rehab your ACL.
DonJoy Hinged Armor Knee Brace
The DonJoy Armor Knee Brace is the strongest and most supportive hinged ACL knee brace available. It is recommended for Grade 3 Sprains and preventing ACL injuries from reoccurring. It’s ideal for athletes, or anyone who is awaiting or recovering from surgery.
ACL tears will require surgery to repair the damaged ligament. So if you suffer anything above a Grade 1 Sprain, you can expect your doctor to want to operate. Surgery can be performed shortly after the injury or several months out. Your doctor will determine the best course of action (braces, rehab, etc.) based on your age, physical activity, and the severity of the injury. It’s important to know that an ACL knee brace will not heal ACL tears or other injuries, they are simply there to provide needed support during the recovery period.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. This article was posted for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice.
Until next time!
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