Knee brace to delay replacement?

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What have people’s experiences been of using a knee brace like the Donjoy ones prior to surgery?  Have people found that they help to delay the necessity to have a knee replacement?  It’s a big investment but could potentially be worth it.  I know I am going to need a replacement (and am on the waiting list) but my pain level has been improving in recent months since a suspected ruptured Baker’s Cyst so my most recent discussion with my consultant has led to consideration over the next few months of whether I can get my pain and mobility  to a level I feel is manageable and therefore delay the replacement for a while longer.  

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  • Posted

    Never used one before surgery.  Don't know if one would help but consider that one model recommended before the surgery could be useless afterwards.  I'm 2 years post-op and want to be more active without allowing the knee to twist or torque in any way.  Talked to Donjoy and my local rep.  The recommended model post-TKR is the Defiance (pic).  Completely removes the possibility of twisting the knee.  The are a few OTS models but the custom one costs $900.  That's a big investment...you don't want to have to make it twice.

    Have you tried Synvisc shots?  Worked for me for many years to put off the surgery.  Plus, there's Voltaren Gel (RX in the US)...great topical anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.

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    • Posted

      I’m a big fan of Voltarol gel!   I find it works really well for me without the dodgy stomach risk of oral NSAIDs.  I’ve had a cortisone injection, which only helped for a couple of weeks, but no one has offered me Synvisc.  I had a look online and I see it has limited availability under the NHS as apparently it isn’t recommended in the NICE guidelines.  I will ask my GP about it next time I see her.  Thanks for the suggestion. I agree these braces are incredibly expensive.  However, my discussion with my consultant on the TKR / PKR dilemma came down to the issue that the PKR would alter my leg alignment and put more pressure on the lateral side which is already slightly degraded and therefore, potentially, might speed up the need for a TKR....  so I’m wondering if an unloader brace might do something similar, less invasively.  As I am going to need a TKR eventually, I’m thinking this could potentially either hold it off with reduced pain and more mobility or (at worst?) speed up the degradation on the lateral side in the same way a PKR might but at least I wouldn’t have had to go through PKR before TKR......
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  • Posted

    My suggestion: never use a brace unless you discuss it with your surgeon. Braces are great but they can also create difficulties down line. They can actually cause atrophy and weaken the leg making rehab more difficult down line.
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