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Old 08-24-2003, 08:45 AM   #1
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Smile Effectiveness of braces

Hi there,

I'm 38 and have djd of the left knee - primarly in the patellorfemoral area. I just completed third shot of synvisc last week. I asked doc. about a new brace I saw that claims it reduces patellorfemoral load and pain. He and his collegues have never heard of this working as they say it is difficult to take the load off the patella. However, he prefers waiting until I'm 40 to do tkr and is willing to try anything at this point.

So, I'm going next Friday to a DME place to get measured for a brace.

I've searched the net and there really isn't any research on whether or not bracing helps pattelorfemoral pain/arthritis. Has anyone tried bracing and did you see any results?

Have a happy day!

 
Old 08-25-2003, 07:53 PM   #2
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Hi,

I tried the "sleeve" type of patello-femoral brace. This brace seems to help. However, it slides down the leg after a certain period of use.

There are also patello-femoral braces that look like ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) type of functional braces. I heard these are more effective.

The quality of braces depends on the model and manufacturer.

 
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Old 08-26-2003, 03:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. The one I am looking at does look like an ACL type brace. I know the sleeve type won't work for me because I have large thighs and it will slip down right away.

 
Old 08-26-2003, 10:36 PM   #4
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Hi,

There is a web site with a forum for people with knee problems. You can get a lot of information on braces there. Unfortunately, you will have to find it yourself because I am not allowed to post links to other forums. I got banned because I did this once.

 
Old 09-01-2003, 05:55 PM   #5
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I went for the fitting. The brace is the Gen II with additional support for the pattelo femoral area. Even they guy that did the measurement said he couldn't see how it would reduce the load on this area, but the company claims it does. They actually had to take a cast of my leg to make it so it really is custom fit. Luckily my insurance only requires a $20 copay per item and this comes in 2 pieces. So for a brace that costs over a thousand dollars I only have to pay $40. I should have it in 2-3 weeks. I'll let you know how it is when I get it.

 
Old 09-03-2003, 09:26 PM   #6
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Hi, jorob

How did Synvisc work for you? My doctor is considering giving me Synvisc injections.

Please let me know if your brace helps you and how it helps you.

Thanks.

 
Old 09-04-2003, 05:14 PM   #7
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Hi there,

I have not noticed much effect of synvisc; however, I have reduced pain meds., so I would say it's improved maybe 20%. He told me up front it may not help but you may as well try it. The injections weren't pleasant but they were bearable - I hear it's different for everyone. The good thing is that the whole episode only lasts about 30 seconds.

He did say it would take 6 weeks to get the full effect, so that brings me to the beginning of October. My then I should also have the brace. We shall see!!

Kathi

 
Old 09-04-2003, 09:30 PM   #8
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Hi, Kathi

It is great that Synvisc allowed you to take less pain meds. I hope it will do that for me.

Yes, injections into knees do hurt. It sometimes feels like the needle hit my kneecap or it feels like my kneecap is being "pushed out of my knee joint."

Do you know if the needle might damage some structures in the knee?

I hope the brace works for you. I might consider getting one.

Thanks.

 
Old 09-05-2003, 03:51 PM   #9
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Hi there,

The doc. told me there really is not bad things that can happen from synvisc injections. They just say if it becomes red or you get a fever to call (I suppose some people could be allergic?).

Anyhow, the needle does not go through the knee cap but under it. The needle actually goes through cartiledge which is what is suppose to be painful. Of course, I don't have much cartiledge so the pain was less - I guess one reason to be grateful!!

Happy trails....
Kathi

 
Old 09-05-2003, 11:38 PM   #10
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Hi, Kathi

I sure am glad nothing bad can happen from Synvisc injections. I am seeing my doctor Monday and I will ask her about receiving Synvisc injections.

My knee becomes red for a few hours every time I receive an injection of marcaine and lidocaine. I do not know if this would happen with Synvisc injections. I wonder what causes my knee to become red after the injections of anesthetics.

If the needle goes under the kneecap but does not go low enough, I guess it could explain why it feels like the needle hit the kneecap.

The needle goes through cartilage!? Could the needle have caused my painful cartilage tears?

Thanks.

 
Old 11-13-2003, 07:48 AM   #11
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Update on effectiveness of synvisc and brace

Hi there,

Just wanted to follow-up on my progress with three injections of synvisc and subsequently a brace. The synvisc helped about 10-15 percent which the doctor said is close to nothing. Pretty true - for awhile I took less Vicodin but living in New England with the cold weather coming I'm back to where I started from on that point.

I then purchased a Gen II brace that was brand new. It claims that it will unload the patella to decrease pain. My doc. said he couldn't figure out how that would work and neither did the brace people I went to - but we decided to try it anyway. The brace comes in two parts, there is a neoprene sleave that goes over the leg and then the brace goes over it. The sleeve is what is suppose to relieve the patella pain; however, it does not stay on well at all. I find that it will stay on for about 2 hours and then it starts to slide - trying to re-adjust it doesn't seem to work well and I get frustrated and take it off.

So, I have been wearing the outer part of the brace which is designed to help the compartmental (side of the knee) arthritis pain. My pain is mostly on the inside of the knee, so the brace is made to accomodate that. What the brace has done for me is allowed me to stop using a cane. Putting so much pressure on my hand using the cane was giving me nerve pain in my hand, so that is now gone. I do feel it helps with the pain somewhat overall - about the same as the cane, because when I don't where the brace there is a noticable difference.

Overall, the brace will get me hopefully through the winter. I met with the Orthopod last month and he said there is really nothing else he could do. He originally wanted me to wait until I was 40 for knee replacement, I told him I'd give it until I was 39 which is in March. He questions whether I can even make it that long. But I have no desire to rehab. from surgery in the winter trying to manuever in ice and snow. So, I'm meeting with the surgeon in December to pick a date and I think it will be in March.

Sorry so long, but I never saw much about braces on this group and thought someone might benefit from a longer explanation.

Wishing you all a pain free day!
-Kathi

 
Old 01-18-2004, 06:06 PM   #12
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Red face Re: Effectiveness of braces

Hi there,

I haven't been around in awhile. I am a 38 year old female who has arthritis of the knees, in particular (the worse) my left knee. I have been using a GenII brace that also has a patellor femoral stabalizer. This is about a $1000.00 brace but fortunately I had insurance that covered most of it. It comes in two pieces. There is the neoprene sleeve that goes from below the knee to above the knee and them the brace that goes over it. Well, I found the sleeve does not stay on well, so I have only been using the brace which is for the inner knee pain not the knee cap which is the worst of my pain.

So, I know have total knee replacement surgery scheduled for April 12th. I can't stand the pain anymore and being that I live in New England, and we just had 30 below weather with wind chill factor, this surgery can't come too soon. I actually took a vacation day Friday because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving the house when the weather was at it's worse.

I'm not looking forward to the surgery. My orthopedist said I would hate it the first 6 weeks and after that I will wish that I had it years ago. My surgeon says 2-3 days in the hospital, possibly a rehab facility and then home. I'm not sure at this point about rehab but I live in a duplex where the bedroom and only bathroom are on the second floor. Does anyone who has had this surgery have any opinion on that?

I'm trying to ride an exercise bike to strengthen my quads but with this weather it's very difficult!!!

Hoping you all have a pain free day!

Kathi

 
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