An ACL knee brace is a high level support brace used following ACL tears and ruptures.
They may be used instead of surgery, whilst awaiting surgery, or once recovering from surgery.
ACL braces are a great way to provide extra stability to the knee, give it time to heal and prevent further injury.
You may only need one for a short time while you are strengthening your knee or recovering from surgery, or they may become the long term solution, giving you back your freedom.
They can make all the difference, allowing you to safely return to sports and other activities.
There are a huge variety of braces out there, so here I share with you the most effective and popular ones. We will look at why you might benefit from an ACL knee brace, how to choose the right brace for you to get the right level of stability and the correct size and you can read user reviews.
There are three main reasons why you may want an ACL knee brace:
The ACL is the main stabiliser of the knee. When it is damaged, the stability of the knee is reduced and can lead to the knee giving way during normal daily activities or when playing sport.
If the knee is repeatedly giving way, it can cause more damage to the knee, especially the cartilage.
Some people can overcome the problem through strengthening and stability exercises, but many benefit from an ACL knee brace.
Many surgeons will recommend that you wear a knee brace for a few weeks following ACL surgery. The reasons for this are:
Lots of sports people are starting to wear knee braces to reduce their risk of injury. Approximately 80% of ACL injuries are non-contact and are due to too much stress and force going through the ACL. By changing the way the forces go through the ligament you can reduce the risk of injury.
Now we will look at a range of ACL knee braces and how they work, ranging from top of the range to the best budget options.
Donjoy and Breg are two of the leading manufacturers of ACL knee braces and they are the best at providing support and protection. These ACL knee braces are specially designed to reduce that force and strain on the ACL. They are expensive, but they work really well for everything from everyday use to professional athletes.
The magic behind a Donjoy ACL brace is the combination of the special FourcePoint hinge and 4-points of leverage system – to find out more visit the Donjoy knee brace page.
Donjoy also offer a knee protection guarantee, so confident are they that you won’t damage your ACL when wearing one of their braces!
Breg ACL knee braces allow you to control the amount of flexion and extension at the knee with adjustable hinges that allow you to block movements and reduce the strain on the ACL.
Overview: The Donjoy Performance Bionic Knee Brace is a mild-moderate support ACL knee brace. It has bilateral polycentric hinges to provide sideways stability supporting the collateral ligaments. It also features a hyperextension stop which helps support the cruciate ligaments and stop the knee from bending back too far.
The wraparound design and top and bottom stretch webbing closure ensures a personalised fit and the anti-migration technology helps prevent any slippage.
It is made of perforated neoprene for maximum breathability and has reflective spots for enhanced visibility in low light. There is also a camo colored version.
Our Verdict: The Donjoy Performance Bionic ACL Knee Brace provides great protection in all directions and supports the patella well. It is easy to get on and off and even has a small compartment to hold keys and cards! It is comfy to wear, stays in place well and receives great user reviews. Average user rating 4.3/5
Overview: The Donjoy FullStop Knee Brace provides moderate to maximum stability making it perfect for ACL ruptures or following surgery. The combination of the FullStop hinge and four-point leverage system trains users to stay out of the "at-risk" position through a dampening cycle.
It is designed for use in high-risk sports such as skiing/snowboarding, football, soccer, basketball and volleyball, with ligament tears or after ligament reconstruction surgery.
Adjustable straps ensure secure fit, and it is also reflective.
Our Verdict: The Donjoy FullStop Knee Brace is perfect for people with moderate to severe knee instability from ACL tears, allowing people to safely partake in high-risk sports. It's not cheap but it offers excellent protection. Average user rating 4.2/5
Overview: The Breg T Scope Knee Brace offers precise range-of-motion control both for preventing and when recovering from ACL injuries. The dial hinge allows you to limit the range of knee motion with simple flexion and extension stops, to prevent you overstretching your knee, reducing the tension through the ACL.
The brace length can be adjusted thanks to telescopic thigh and calf sleeves to fit almost anyone from 5ft to 6ft4". Good padding and a light-weight design make it extremely comfortable and it can be adjusted to fit either leg.
Our Verdict: The Breg T Scope Brace is an excellent ACL knee brace as you can control how much the knee is allowed to bend and straighten which helps to protect the ACL. It receives excellent user reviews both for comfort and stability. Average user rating 4.4/5.
If you are looking for something simpler and cheaper than a Donjoy or Breg ACL brace, there are some great mid-range ACL knee braces that provide good support and are suitable for moderate to severe instability and pain.
They work by using a combination of splints and hinges to provide support and prevent further injury.
These ACL knee braces provide advanced protection and are suitable for mild to moderate ACL instabilities. They have adjustable straps and in-built supports to provide support where it is needed. They also retain heat which increases circulation to the knee which can promote healing.
These are just some of the best ACL knee braces on the market. If you want to see some more options, have a look at the Donjoy and Elite brace sections for more options if you need moderate to maximum support, or the advanced knee braces section for mild-moderate ligament support.
It is really important to get the right sized ACL knee brace to ensure maximum support and protection. Use the guide below to find the right size ACL knee brace for you.
Wearing an ACL knee brace can make a huge difference but they are only one aspect in the rehab process after ACL injuries. Effective rehab is what makes the difference long term, whether you need surgery or not.
An ACL knee brace is not intended as a substitute for rehab, it is to be used alongside your rehab programme, the aim being to build up enough strength and stability that you can eventually stop wearing your brace without any risk of further injury.
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Page Last Updated: 09/01/24
Next Review Due: 09/01/26
*Prices correct as of February 2024. All prices are subject to change. Please note we do not stock products directly and therefore have no control over price changes. See advertising policy for more information.