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Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?
Old 06-28-2006, 01:12 PM   #1
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Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?

After upgrading from a sports doctor to a radiologist to an orthopedic surgeon, I sure am glad there's nothing seriously wrong with my knees. This experience has been painful enough as it is.

I expected an orthopedic surgeon to play a full-court press for orthopedic surgery, but this guy just wasn't interested. I don't really care for him, but his advice is so blunt and shorn of artifice or tact that it's refreshing. His attitude was "Surgery isn't really necessary. You're moving without pain and you can do what you need to do without your ACLs. If you wanted your ACLs rebuilt for tae kwon do, you'd just tear them again so it's not worth the surgical risk my time." Gee, thanks. Same thing with the meniscus damage-- I have full range of motion so they're not a problem worth the surgery.

He was more interested in avoiding future injuries. (He was so rushed that he could barely get the words out of his mouth fast enough, but we agreed that I'd let go of his ankles if he'd answer the rest of my questions). He recommended a metal-hinge knee brace that limits the knee's lateral motion (what an ACL normally stabilizes) while allowing full flexion. They'll get me through the TKD workouts & forms, although I can't wear metal braces for tournament sparring. So I guess my sparring days are over but I may still be able to find a partner for Friday-night sparring.

I'll be dosing 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day to bring the swelling down and working physical therapy for the next couple weeks to strengthen my quads & hamstrings. I'll also be trying on various braces next week, priced from $50-$400. "What are you saving it for?" indeed.

Anyone using metal-hinged knee braces? Any recommendations?
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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?
Old 06-28-2006, 01:22 PM   #2
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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?

Sorry to hear about your knee but good news about no surgery.

A co-worker gave me the link below. She has had two ACL surgeries and the last one was a cadaver transpant of a ligament. She could not remember the name of the brace but suggested the one that gives you the best lateral support but alllows your knee to bend as far as you want it to.

Good luck.

http://www.kneeshop.com/products.asp?cat=13

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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?
Old 06-28-2006, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?

Funny thing, almost everyone I know thats talked to an orthopedic surgeon got the same song and dance, including me.

I'm starting to wonder if they're just seeing if you're really committed to the surgery and recovery by giving you a little psychological 'wall' to hop over.

I have all sorts of knee problems, not as bad as yours, but if I take a good long walk I better take an alleve when I get home. My surgeon said "well, I love to do surgery and I'd like to work on your knees. They might come out better, they might come out the same, they might end up worse...". When I asked about the odds, he said, "even split between the three". I balked.

This was after I pushed and prodded for three months to get taken seriously by the HMO.

By the way, I used one of those blue neoprene knee braces with the hole where your kneecap goes for playing football and skiing. Nowhere near as good as a metal brace, but it doesnt cost $3000 and require a custom fitting either. And you can probably wear them to spar in. At least it reduces the lateral movement a bit, holds everything together a little and warms the joint. If I skiied without them, I'd be eating ibuprofen or alleve.

Oh yeah, and try alleve instead of ibuprofen. Works better for me, but some people find the opposite.
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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?
Old 06-28-2006, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Recommendations for a metal-hinge knee brace?

Mike on Raddr's board pointed me to ACLSolutions.com. Reading about ACL surgery & recovery there cured me of any desire to have any surgery whatsoever.

WARNING: Don't go to that site if you're eating or drinking, have eaten or drunk in the last hour, or think you might like to eat/drink in the next couple hours. Especially don't look at the picture of the equipment attached to the knee being operated on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bunnay
By the way, I used one of those blue neoprene knee braces with the hole where your kneecap goes for playing football and skiing.* Nowhere near as good as a metal brace, but it doesnt cost $3000 and require a custom fitting either.* And you can probably wear them to spar in.* At least it reduces the lateral movement a bit, holds everything together a little and warms the joint.* If I skiied without them, I'd be eating ibuprofen or alleve.
I've been wearing one for a couple years. They'll work great until I get kicked in the knee by mistake... or land wrong after a triple kick... then the surgery will no longer be optional.

Wearing something strong enough to keep the knee stable would injure an opponent if they collided with the brace. I'm told there are ceramic braces which technically don't violate the WTF sparring rules but which are really just exploiting a loophole that no one's bothered to close yet. At a possible cost of $500-$1000 per brace, you have to wonder why you're entering a tournament with a $60 fee for a couple medals.

I can do forms, kicks, and no-contact sparring for the rest of my life. I can't think of a compelling spouse-acceptable reason to spend $1000 for the privilege of full-contact competitive sparring with a risk that she'll have to help me through a six-month rehab. Surgery without anaesthesia would be less painful...
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