Effects of a Semi-rigid Knee Brace on Mobility and Pain in People with Knee Osteoarthritis


  • Tim Dries Livit Orthopedie, Dordrecht
  • Jan Willem van der Windt Livit Orthopedie, Amsterdam
  • Wouter Akkerman Livit Orthopedie, Amsterdam
  • Mari Kluijtmans Livit Orthopedie, Eindhoven
  • Rob P. A Janssen Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Trauma, Máxima Medical Center, Eindhoven-Veldhoven; Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology; Value-Based Health Care, Department of Paramedical Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, The Netherlands




Osteoarthritis, Arthritis, Knee Brace, Orthotic Devices, Unload


Objective: Osteoarthritis is one of the most com- mon chronic conditions leading to disability among older people (age 60+ years). Knee osteoarthritis has a significant impact on daily functioning. Pain, stiffness, reduced strength, changes in posture, and reduced knee stability may result in reduced mobility. The aim of this study is to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of conservative therapeutic use of a semi-rigid knee brace for management of patients with knee osteoarthritis, using patient-reported outcomes.
Design: Patients with osteoarthritis using a semi-rigid knee brace were asked to complete a questionnaire about the effectiveness of the brace after wearing it for 3 weeks. The primary outcome measure was mobility, assessed using an ordinal scale with and without use of the knee brace. Secondary outcome measures were pain symptoms and overall daily functioning.
Results: A total of 381 patients completed the questionnaire. The results show considerably improved mobility while using a knee brace in different mobility groups. In the group of respondents who were limited to their home environment mobility decreased by 74% while using a knee brace. In the group of respondents who were able to walk to a nearby shop mobility increased by 50%, and the group experiencing no mobility restrictions increased from 3% without using a knee brace to 13% while using a knee brace. In addition, 54% of respondents reported a reduction in pain symptoms and 62% of respondents reported an improvement in overall daily functioning while using a knee brace.
Conclusion: The results of this large-scale patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) study show that the use of a semi-rigid knee brace appears to provide suitable joint support, offering pain relief and freedom of movement and should be considered a useful non-surgical treatment method for use in patients with knee osteoarthritis
Clinical trial: This study does not include a clinical trial.

This study of patient-reported outcome measures regarding the use of stabilizing knee braces for knee osteoarthritis provides insight into the additional care and quality of life provided by the use of these orthopaedic aids. The aims of this study are to measure the effectiveness of knee braces in daily life and to validate the efficacy of using orthopeadic medical aids. In the study, 381 patients with knee Osteoarthritis were provided with knee braces and were asked about the effectiveness of the braces 3 weeks after they first started wearing them. This large-scale study found that the use of knee braces contributed to user-mobility, reduced pain, and increased the possibility to perform daily activities. Knee braces appear to serve as a suitable support for knee joints, providing pain relief and freedom of movement, and should be considered a useful non-surgical treatment method for knee Osteoarthritis.


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How to Cite

Dries, T., van der Windt, J. W., Akkerman, W., Kluijtmans, M., & Janssen, R. P. A. (2022). Effects of a Semi-rigid Knee Brace on Mobility and Pain in People with Knee Osteoarthritis. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine - Clinical Communications, 5, jrmcc00085. https://doi.org/10.2340/jrmcc.v5.2483



Original Report