Injuries to any part of the body can easily occur under any circumstances. It is very common to see many patients every day arriving at a clinic or hospital for a problem of this type. One of the most common injuries occurs in the knees. The knees are very susceptible to any problem of this type since they are one of the first supports that people have when they fall. This type of injury is frequent in athletes or the elderly, although any other individual can suffer it in an unfortunate situation. Many people believe that a knee injury can only be treated through surgery, and while this is true in some cases, in many others it is possible to use other types of treatment. Regardless of the case, there is a widely used brace when someone suffers a knee injury. It is the knee immobilizer brace.
What Is a Knee Immobilizer Brace?
As its name suggests, a knee immobilizer is nothing more than a brace that doctors use to restrict or limit their patients' knee movements in the event of an injury. That is, a knee immobilizer will help keep this part of the body stabilized to prevent any movement from causing pain and also promote a quick recovery. Doctors recommend using this brace in case the person has suffered a fracture or serious injury in that area. They are generally used by patients who have recently undergone surgery but may also be ideal for those whose knees have received other types of treatment. A knee immobilizer is made of a firm cloth that stretches the length of the leg, covering the knee of the person who has sustained the injury. It has metal supports that help keep the knee rigid by restricting its movements. It is true that many doctors would recommend a plaster cast, but the advantage of this brace is that it can be removed at any time to clean the area and even to help with the healing process. Obviously, it is always important that the patient consult the doctor before removing the knee immobilizer to ensure that it is safe.
How to Wear the Knee Immobilizer Brace?A knee injury is not a joke, and that is why it is essential to know how to properly wear a knee immobilizer. The following steps will help any patient to wear this brace properly:
- We must make sure that the pad that comes with the knee immobilizer is placed in the correct place.
- It is important to place this brace on a flat surface in order to position the affected leg on it correctly.
- Once the leg is placed on the knee immobilizer, the next step is to adjust the brace and ensure that the patellar opening lines up with the patella.
- Now it is time to fasten the immobilizer straps from the lower part of the leg but it is important to avoid tightening it too much as this could cause problems with blood circulation in the affected area, and the situation could worsen.
- A good way to check if the knee immobilizer has been fitted correctly is to stand up and try to walk. If the brace slips or feels loose, then it has not been positioned correctly and needs to be readjusted.
How Long Should You Wear a Knee Immobilizer Brace?A knee immobilizer is useful to reduce inflammation in the affected area after it has undergone a surgical procedure. This means that the time a patient should wear this brace will depend on several factors:
- Level of severity of the injury
- Evolution of healing of the lesion
Generally, the doctor will tell the patient how long to wear the knee immobilizer. It could be necessary to wear it for approximately 10 days, although evolution will determine if that time will be longer or shorter.
Things You Need to Keep in Mind When Using a Knee ImmobilizerAs already explained, it is common to use a knee immobilizer after surgery in that area due to a severe injury or fracture. It is important to know certain things that can or cannot be done when using this brace:
- It is vital to follow the instructions given by the doctor, as using the knee immobilizer incorrectly could cause more injuries and worsen the situation.
- If the brace is not tight enough on the knee, it is possible that it falls off at the ankle. It is necessary to adjust it but not so much so as not to mistreat the affected area.
- The knee immobilizer should not be placed too low on the leg as this will not immobilize the knee as it should.
- It is important to ensure that the knee immobilizers are the correct size as they can come in different sizes depending on the length of the patient's leg and the severity of their injury.
- If the knee immobilizer is worn without manually adjusting the stabilizer bars, the brace may not be doing its job. Generally, this is not a problem since it is the doctor who places the immobilizer on the patient's knee, so he would have already adjusted these bars.
- During the night, it is important that the patient sleeps in an upright position keeping the leg static without placing anything on the sides or under it. If the patient feels uncomfortable, he may also sleep on his side as long as he places a cushion between his legs.
- Some doctors recommend keeping the leg raised for a few minutes while the patient wears the knee immobilizer to help with swelling of the wound.