Best ACL Knee Brace
The ACL is a crucial ligament in the knee; it is the main stabilizer for the knee joint. When the ACL ligament is damaged it can lead to giving away of you knee and general instability. If your knee continuously gives away it can be damaging to other parts of your knee joint, like the cartilage. Once you have injured you ACL and plan on returning to sport and exercise it is very important to purchase a high quality knee brace. Someone who has damaged their ACL will be at a higher risk for re-injuring that same ACL for the initials 12 months.
There are three reasons you may want to purchase a knee brace for an ACL injury. They can be used to aid your knee instead of getting surgery, used while waiting for surgery, or while recovering from surgery. The brace will provide support and stability to your knee while the ligament is weak. An ACL brace will provide the physical support you need with ACL injuries but also help with the mental aspect as well. Wearing a brace that is going to protect your ligaments allows you to be at ease during activity, it also provides to yourself and others that you are injured or have just had surgery.
Hinged Brace with sleeve
Sleeve with Straps
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located in the middle of the knee joint and helps connect the thigh bone (femur) to one of the shin bones (tibia). The purpose of this ligament is to prevent the shin bone from sliding out in front of the thigh bone. The ACL can be injured in several ways including, changing direction rapidly, stopping suddenly, landing incorrectly, over extension, or from a direct contact or collision. When one of these actions does cause an ACL injury it means that the ligament has been stretched too far and may have partial tears or the ligament has experienced a full blown tear.
- Pain and swelling
- Loss of range of motion
- Popping sound at time of injury
- Unstable/give away feeling
Types of ACL Knee Braces
ACL braces range from top of the line hinged braces to mild instability braces. A mild to moderate ACL brace will work best for mild to moderate ACL instabilities. These braces are also good for people who participate in high risk sports where the risk of an ACL tear is high. A mild to moderate instability brace will be designed with adjustable straps with built in supports to help stabilize the knee.
When suffering from a more severe ACL injury or recovering from surgery a more severe instability brace is required. These braces will contain a flexion/extension hinge that provides resistance from the knee moving into at-risk positions. These braces provide maximum support to put your mind at ease while returning to sport.
How Does a Knee Brace Help for ACL Injuries?
These types of braces are specially designed to reduce the amount of force and strain that is being placed on the ACL. The hinge of the brace is designed to allow the knee joint to move through its natural range of motion but still restrict the knee when it is moving into a high risk position. The brace should also contain some sort of leverage system that will decrease the amount on strain being placed on the ACL. These are crucial elements after an injury while an athlete is working on strengthening their knee and allowing them to get back to their previous level of activity.
Here are some of the best ACL knee braces on the market:
1. Donjoy eXtreme Armor Knee Brace
Don joy in the leading manufacturer for ACL knee braces, they even offer a knee protection guarantee because they are so confident that you will not damage your ACL when wearing one of their braces. They even use the quote “indestructible protection”. The eXtreme Armor knee brace is one of their best! It provides a high amount of protection and support for someone who has suffered a knee injury and enjoys contact or extreme sports. This brace is more expensive than other but it is worth it, it is a long lasting durable brace that is great for several sports.
2. Donjoy Fullforce Ligament Brace
This brace is the next step down from the eXtreme Armor knee brace. It is designed to be used with mild to moderate ligament injuries and is suitable for contact and non-contact sports. This brace will provide an excellent amount of support but is not a heavy brace like many other hinged braces. It is very light weight and comfortable, contained “anti-migration ads to hold the brace in place.
3. McDavid Pro Stabilizer ll Hinged Knee Brace
This is a mild-moderate support knee brace designed to help stabilize after an ACL injury. The brace contains medial-lateral support to prevent the knee from moving into high risk positions as well as two side hinges to prevent hyperextension. It is light weight but a bit bulkier then the above 2 options and is sold for a very reasonable price.
Bracoo Breathable Neoprene Knee Support
The Bracoo knee support is a mild support knee brace. This is the type of brace some athletes who participate in high risk sports may wear for preventative measures. It is designed to hold the patella in place and stabilize all surrounding ligaments. It is also a good brace to help relieve post-surgery pain if you are not participating in sports or other high risk activities and want some mild protection for everyday use. It is a snug but comfortable brace that provides flexibility in movement.