When wearing a knee brace, it is important that it fits properly.
- A brace that is too loose will not provide adequate support for your knee and could potentially become a tripping hazard.
- A brace that is too tight may cut off circulation or pinch on nerves leading to increased swelling, discoloration, or numbness and tingling in your leg.
- To ensure a proper fit, be sure to slide two fingers under each strap. Your fingers should be able fit under the strap, but not too easily.
- Your doctor will tell you how long to wear your brace (usually between two to six weeks following surgery)
- The top of your brace should sit about six inches above the knee.
- The middle part of the brace with the dial (round portion) should line up equally to either side of the middle of your kneecap.
- The bottom portion of the brace should sit about six inches below your knee.
Putting On Your Brace
- Sit on the edge of a firm, stable chair (no beds or sofas to allow the brace to be placed higher on the leg).
- Make sure your knee is slightly bent (about 45°) and your foot is flat on the floor.
- When applying the brace, position by holding the hinges.
- Do not over-tighten the top straps (this will push the brace down the leg).
- Apply the brace directly to skin, not over pants (brace can be worn over compression stocking).
- Sleep on your back with your leg straight following surgery.
- Sleep with the brace on and in a locked position. Check with your doctor for how long to sleep in your brace, this depends on your type of surgery.
- Elevate the surgical leg when sitting and sleeping to reduce swelling.
- DO NOT place a pillow directly under the knee; place it under your ankle so you knee is not bent.
- You may place pillows on the sides of your body to prevent movement while sleeping.
- To control swelling, keep your knee elevated above your heart (you may need more than one pillow).
- When sleeping on your side, sleep on the non-operative side with a pillow between your knees. Your doctor will clear you when you can relax in any position.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach. This position prevents your leg from remaining straight and increases the chance of twisting your knee.
- Sleeping tips: Some days will be better than others. For pain control try icing ten minutes right before sleeping and taking your prescribed pain medication.