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A knee injury can be a painful and scary experience. You may notice that knee pain can limit your ability to walk, work, and participate fully in recreational activity. You may require physical therapy to help improve range of motion and strength and decrease pain after a knee injury. If you have injured your knee, you may wonder if a knee brace is the right device for you.
There is some controversy over the use of knee braces for knee pain. A brace may limit mobility of your knee and kneecap. While doing so, the muscles and tendons that support your knee do not have to work, and therefore they may become weakened. This can limit their ability to work properly when the knee brace is not being worn, leading to further injury and functional loss in the knee.
A knee brace can serve many functions depending on the specific problem for which it is being used. If you have suffered a dislocated patella (kneecap), a brace can help keep the patella in the right place during walking, running and athletic activity. After knee surgery like a meniscus repair or ananterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair, a knee brace may help stabilize the joint. A brace may also be used to stabilize the knee in the initial treatment of a fracture.