In some people, arthritis may affect mostly the inside of the knee. This may be because the inside of the knee often bears more of a person's weight than the outside of the knee.
A special brace called an "unloading brace" may help take some of the pressure off the inside of your knee when you are standing.
An unloading brace does not cure your arthritis. But it may help relieve symptoms such as knee pain or buckling when you move around. People who want to delay having knee replacement surgery may want to try using unloading braces.
There are 2 types of unloading braces:
- An orthotist can make a custom fitted unloading brace. You will need a prescription from your doctor. These braces often cost over $1,000 and insurance may not pay for them.
- Unloading braces may be bought in different sizes at a medical device store without a prescription. These braces cost a few hundred dollars.
It is not clear how well unloading braces work. Some people say they have fewer symptoms when they use them. Some medical studies have tested these braces. But this research has not proven whether or not unloading braces provide help for people with knee arthritis.