A hinged knee brace is one of the easiest ways to reduce knee pain and instability. They offer much more protection and stability than the more simple pull up sleeve and wrap around knee braces on the market.
The hinges on the brace offer sideways stability and prevent the knee from hyperextending (bending back too far). This makes them perfect following ligament injuries.
Some hinged braces can be locked at different amounts of flexion and extension so you can control how much your knee bends and straightens. This is really useful in the early stages of recovering from knee injuries or surgery.
Hinged knee braces can be used for everyday activities or high demand activities such as sports and skiing. All of these braces provide maximum support and protection.
Overview: This brace is designed for moderate to severe knee instability and pain after knee injuries eg ligament and cartilage tears. It is also suitable for knee arthritis. It has 2 side hinges that prevent hyperextension (knee bending too far back), and rigid uprights providing additional sideways support whilst allowing freedom of movement. Made of lightweight materials including aircraft grade aluminium gears that accommodate the natural gliding action of the knee (the knee doesn’t simply bend and straighten, it needs to glide to ensure smooth movements). Neoprene sleeve provides therapeutic warmth and has a seamless, breathable back panel for improved comfort. Patellar support buttress helps improve patellar tracking (how the kneecap moves). Fully adjustable Velcro straps ensure a perfect fit for your knee.
My verdict: This is my favourite hinged knee brace on the market as it offers great protection (elite level) at a very reasonable price. Users consistently give it top ratings because it is easy to apply, comfortable and effective. It is one of the most popular hinged knee braces on the market and a good purchase if you really need to give your knee maximum support.
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Overview: Designed for all ligament and cartilage injuries, arthritis, chondromalacia patella, patella subluxation and patella tendonitis. The triaxial hinge and flexible steel springs provides maximum protection without limiting knee movement. Made from Hydracinn fabric (latex and neoprene free) which provides good durability and heat management to prevent excessive sweating. Contoured inner sleeve and adjustable strap at the top ensures correct fit. Unique antimicrobial layer protects from bacteria and other micro-organisms, reducing odours. Comes in 4 sizes (not available in XXL)
My verdict: This is a great hinged knee brace for skiers and active sports people. I like that it is made from special material to prevent it getting smelly! However, the McDavid Pro-stabiliser knee brace above receives better user reviews in the Elite category.
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Overview: This is a superb sports and skiing hinged knee brace for knee ligament injuries and cartilage tears. It is suitable for instability following partial or complete tears of any of the knee ligaments. It has a hi-tech, simple to use pin system slows you to control the range of knee movement if desired (flexion and extension) by locking the brace at 9 different ranges of knee bend. This is perfect if you want to block specific knee movements to provide protection eg following knee surgery. It also features the Donjoy Four Points of Leverage™ system which restores knee joint stability by preventing movement of the shin in relation to the thigh, reducing the forces on the ACL. The lightweight polyester-nylon weave Drytex fabric eliminates neoprene allergies and improves comfort.
My verdict: This brace is great if you need to limit the amount of flexion/extension (bending and straightening) of you knee. It has 4 straps which ensures a perfect fit and provides great stability to the knee. It is very easy to use, and is most commonly used after knee surgery or with ACL injuries.
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Overview: This Neo G hinged knee brace has an exclusive two point geared hinge system to control flexion and extension movements preventing hyperextension (knee bending too far back). It also reduces sideways instability. Featuring 3 adjustable straps, this brace provides maximum joint protection and stability. The open patellar area helps reduce patellar tracking problems and pain. It is suitable for moderate to severe cruciate and collateral ligament sprains, instability, Bursitis, Meniscus injuries and Arthritis.
My verdict: The hinge actually makes it easier to bend and straighten the knee whilst providing the necessary support. Simple to use and comfortable.
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Overview: This McDavid knee brace reduces the forces going through the knee without restricting movement or speed. Suitable for mild to moderate knee pain from cartilage and/or ligament damage and arthritis. It features a polycarbonate single pin hinge to deflect forces away from the knee and prevents hyperextension (knee bending back the wrong way). Adjustable Velcro straps hold the brace in place preventing slippage. 3/16” thick, 100% latex free neoprene brace.
My verdict: This hinged brace is ideal if you need support but don’t want direct pressure on the knee itself.
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Most people will not require Elite protection from a knee brace and find a Basic or Advanced Knee Brace works perfectly for them. To find out more about the other types of knee braces available, click the links or visit the Knee Brace Overview section for help in finding the best brace for you.
It is really important to get the correct size brace, otherwise it won’t work effectively and will be very uncomfortable. Hinged knee braces are either one size fits most or come in range of sizes.
To get an accurate fit, measure around the centre of the knee and chose from the options below. If your knee size falls between two sizes, it is usually best to go for the larger size for a better fit.
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Updated 30th April 2013
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