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A knee brace (also known as an immobilizer) is used to hold the knee still following surgery or to help stop the muscles around the knee from tightening up and making it difficult to move.


How do I apply my knee brace?

Your brace can be put on directly on your skin, over a clean, snug-fitting sock, or over form-fitting clothes. Make sure any clothing under the brace is smooth and free of wrinkles.

  1.  Position your brace so that the wide end is closer to your torso and the narrow end is closer to your feet. The straps of the brace should be facing toward the front.
  2.  Secure the brace's straps by threading them through the matching loops (called stays) on the other side and sticking the straps to themselves. Note: wrap any extra long straps fully around your leg before threading them through the loops.
  3.  If you feel too much pressure from the straps above and below your knee, it is okay to remove the side panels of the brace and move them further forward to give the knee area better padding. Additional padding may be provided if you need it.

How should I care for my skin when I need to wear a knee brace?

If you wear socks under your knee brace, make sure to change them every day. If you sweat while wearing your knee brace, change the clothes underneath it more often to avoid skin breakdown, infections, and odor.

Check your skin often for pink or red marks. If a red or pink mark stays on your skin for longer than 30 minutes after you take off your brace, it might mean that there is too much pressure on the area, and you should contact your orthotist.

Avoid using lotions, creams, and oils on the skin under your brace. These products soften the skin and might cause blisters or other skin irritations.

If you develop open sores or blisters, let your orthotist know as soon as possible.


How do I clean my knee brace?

Clean your brace as needed with mild soap and warm water, baby wipes, or rubbing alcohol. If you machine wash it, remove all of the stays beforehand and use the gentle cycle. Make sure that the brace and your body are completely dry before putting the brace back on.


When should I follow up with my orthotist?

If any concerns come up, schedule a follow-up appointment. If at any time your brace needs to be fixed or doesn't seem to be fitting correctly, schedule an appointment with the Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Seating department.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.