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Knee Brace Issues


jayluv54

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So I have an old ACL/PCL injury that gets re-aggravated from time to time and when it does I have to wear my Don Joy knee brace (pictured below) for a while until the stability comes back in my knee.  Obviously by the picture you can see that knee guards and good rotation are going to be tough.  Does anybody wear one of these and if so, do you wear knee guards?  Do you have issues with pad rotation?  Also, I understand a lot of guys wear knee sleeves that you can buy at any pharmacy, those are not knee braces and would do little to nothing to help my condition.  I have to use a rigid brace or my ligaments can sustain more damage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tore my MCL twice while playing goal. I know exactly what you mean about the pointlessness of soft knee wraps or knee “braces” with plastic stays. I’m currently wearing a Shock Doctor 872.  It’s comparable to the DonJoy Performance Bionic. I previously wore a Shock Doctor 875, which is extremely similar, but the 872 covers the hinges better to avoid catching on knee pads. The 872 works flawlessly with my Warrior G3 Senior knee pads. 

I know this probably doesn’t help you, your required brace is more hardcore than the above. I actually want to get something like yours for maximum stability. There’s just so little info out there on good knee braces. Yours should be fine, you just have to get used to it. Make sure you wear very good knee pads. My first game back I took a slap shot right to my knee pad exactly where the inner metal hinge met my injured MCL. It was horrible, my worst fear.  I couldn’t tell if I retore my MCL or just externally bruised it. Either way my leg was numb for the rest of the game. 

There’s also the new McDavid’s Bio-Logix which look good and come with an external sleeve and you can buy a padded sleeve (which looks more like for football)  

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On 6/16/2018 at 9:07 PM, BonesDT said:

I tore my MCL twice while playing goal. I know exactly what you mean about the pointlessness of soft knee wraps or knee “braces” with plastic stays. I’m currently wearing a Shock Doctor 872.  It’s comparable to the DonJoy Performance Bionic. I previously wore a Shock Doctor 875, which is extremely similar, but the 872 covers the hinges better to avoid catching on knee pads. The 872 works flawlessly with my Warrior G3 Senior knee pads. 

I know this probably doesn’t help you, your required brace is more hardcore than the above. I actually want to get something like yours for maximum stability. There’s just so little info out there on good knee braces. Yours should be fine, you just have to get used to it. Make sure you wear very good knee pads. My first game back I took a slap shot right to my knee pad exactly where the inner metal hinge met my injured MCL. It was horrible, my worst fear.  I couldn’t tell if I retore my MCL or just externally bruised it. Either way my leg was numb for the rest of the game. 

There’s also the new McDavid’s Bio-Logix which look good and come with an external sleeve and you can buy a padded sleeve (which looks more like for football)  

I did pick up an 875 to try.  Definitely doesn't give the same amount of support and I hate the way all that material bunches up behind the knee, but for the purposes of still wearing knee guards, its one of the better options I have because I found that my PAW knee guards fit over it without too much additional bulk.  I have one more brace coming that I want to try made by Ossur.  Its commonly used in motocross and is rigid like the DonJoy but lighter and more low profile.  We'll see how that one goes.

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On 6/16/2018 at 9:07 PM, BonesDT said:

I tore my MCL twice while playing goal. I know exactly what you mean about the pointlessness of soft knee wraps or knee “braces” with plastic stays. I’m currently wearing a Shock Doctor 872.  It’s comparable to the DonJoy Performance Bionic. I previously wore a Shock Doctor 875, which is extremely similar, but the 872 covers the hinges better to avoid catching on knee pads. The 872 works flawlessly with my Warrior G3 Senior knee pads. 

I know this probably doesn’t help you, your required brace is more hardcore than the above. I actually want to get something like yours for maximum stability. There’s just so little info out there on good knee braces. Yours should be fine, you just have to get used to it. Make sure you wear very good knee pads. My first game back I took a slap shot right to my knee pad exactly where the inner metal hinge met my injured MCL. It was horrible, my worst fear.  I couldn’t tell if I retore my MCL or just externally bruised it. Either way my leg was numb for the rest of the game. 

There’s also the new McDavid’s Bio-Logix which look good and come with an external sleeve and you can buy a padded sleeve (which looks more like for football)  

I've torn my MCL twice (grade 2 tears, one nearly a grade 3, one not as bad) and am recovering from a Grade 1.  I asked my orthopod about wearing one of those during a game and he said the studies don't support wearing them for injury prevention (as opposed to stabilization post injury).  There was a NYT article about it as well because all the major athletic programs require offensive linemen to wear the braces and they may actually do more harm than good.  But I'm not a doctor, so you should listen to yours, but I don't wear one on the ice.  

Obvs not directed at the OP, I don't know anything about ACL/PCL injuries.

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5 hours ago, jeff da goalie said:

I've torn my MCL twice (grade 2 tears, one nearly a grade 3, one not as bad) and am recovering from a Grade 1.  I asked my orthopod about wearing one of those during a game and he said the studies don't support wearing them for injury prevention (as opposed to stabilization post injury).  There was a NYT article about it as well because all the major athletic programs require offensive linemen to wear the braces and they may actually do more harm than good.  But I'm not a doctor, so you should listen to yours, but I don't wear one on the ice.  

Obvs not directed at the OP, I don't know anything about ACL/PCL injuries.

I'm familiar with that study and for me its 100% a lateral stability problem due to the types of injuries I've had on that knee.  I know I can't prevent it from happening, but I do know the very high level of support a good rigid knee brace provides and its the difference between being able to play and not.  Wearing one is essential if I'm skating out, learned that the hard way...not so much in net but I'm very limited on that one side without it and am much more likely to aggravate it. 

Its the kind of injury that doesn't prevent me from doing 400 lb squats, but if all 40 lbs of my 6 yr old daughter runs up to hug my leg from the side, I might be going down in a heap.  Therefore strength is not the problem, the injury happens when my leg is fully extended and my knee if vulnerable to hyperextension and/or rotation.  Its the result of repetitive minor ligament damage that doesn't require surgery but is patched with a cortisone shot.  Over time scar tissue builds up.  Scar tissue is not as pliable as ligament tissue, so it tears much easier.  This is how my ortho explained it to me and just said to do whatever I have to until the time comes when it fully lets go, then he can go in and fix it the right way.  I didn't think this would be going on for 16 years...that last bit of ligament is stubborn AF...lol.

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1 hour ago, jayluv54 said:

I'm familiar with that study and for me its 100% a lateral stability problem due to the types of injuries I've had on that knee.  I know I can't prevent it from happening, but I do know the very high level of support a good rigid knee brace provides and its the difference between being able to play and not.  Wearing one is essential if I'm skating out, learned that the hard way...not so much in net but I'm very limited on that one side without it and am much more likely to aggravate it. 

Its the kind of injury that doesn't prevent me from doing 400 lb squats, but if all 40 lbs of my 6 yr old daughter runs up to hug my leg from the side, I might be going down in a heap.  Therefore strength is not the problem, the injury happens when my leg is fully extended and my knee if vulnerable to hyperextension and/or rotation.  Its the result of repetitive minor ligament damage that doesn't require surgery but is patched with a cortisone shot.  Over time scar tissue builds up.  Scar tissue is not as pliable as ligament tissue, so it tears much easier.  This is how my ortho explained it to me and just said to do whatever I have to until the time comes when it fully lets go, then he can go in and fix it the right way.  I didn't think this would be going on for 16 years...that last bit of ligament is stubborn AF...lol.

I hear you.  I was speaking more to BonesDT.  I don't think a brace does squat for protecting your MCL, nor does it provide much more support than a good tight neoprene sleeve.  But I'm also just a guy who gets injured, not a doctor, so I would always recommend listening to a doc and not some random dude on the interwebz any way.

It's interesting what you said about squatting.  After my 2016 MCL injury, i got back into lifting and got up to a 445 lb 1RM squat.  My knees became bulletproof.  But I then backslid and had trouble making time to get to the gym because I was playing too often and BAM, there goes my MCL again.  So I've  been using the last few weeks to purposefully get to the gym and have slowly been building back my squatting again, although I'm focusing more on 10 rep sets rather than going for broke on the 1 rep lift.  I'm going to make sure that for every time I'm on the ice, I spend two days in the gym lifting.

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2 hours ago, jayluv54 said:

I'm 

Its the kind of injury that doesn't prevent me from doing 400 lb squats, but if all 40 lbs of my 6 yr old daughter runs up to hug my leg from the side, I might be going down in a heap.  Therefore strength is not the problem, the injury happens when my leg is fully extended and my knee if vulnerable to hyperextension and/or rotation.  Its the result of repetitive minor ligament damage that doesn't require surgery but is patched with a cortisone shot.  Over time scar tissue builds up.  Scar tissue is not as pliable as ligament tissue, so it tears much easier.  This is how my ortho explained it to me and just said to do whatever I have to until the time comes when it fully lets go, then he can go in and fix it the right way.  I didn't think this would be going on for 16 years...that last bit of ligament is stubborn AF...lol.

This is the same thing for me.  The last time he went in to have a look back in late March, he told me "all of your ligaments are a fucking mess, but I need a fresh injury to actually do something that will really help".  Kinda shitty that I keep hoping to really injure myself LOL.. Short term pain for long term gain.

In the meantime, all 17 of the Ortho's here in town work out of one office that also has an amazing rehab area.  They have fit me for what looks like a sleeve, but it has all sorts of inserts that keep everything locked in, plus some lateral support as you can see in the picture.  They took a mold of my knee to make sure the inserts were the right sizes in the right places.  This is the model of it below.

Brace.jpg

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So i’ll offer up my thoughts on the subject based on both various injuries to ACL and MCL over the years as well as my non medical degree. 

Similar to @jeff da goalie most of the orthos I have seen agree that a brace isn’t meant to prevent injury, but provide stability when it would otherwise not be able to handle it on its own. Consequently, I’d say if you need to wear one to play, you would probably be better served doing rehab until you don’t need it. 

I usually experience discomfort in my knees the day after I play, but nothing a couple ibuprofen doesn’t adequately take care of, and certainly no worries about instability.

On a somewhat related topic, I’m currently rehabbing my hip after FAI and I’m not considering playing until I can confidently feel like it is functioning properly. And by properly I mean the right muscle groups are firing and I’m not putting undue stress on other muscles/joints by having them compensate for a hip that isn’t fully healed. Doing anything less would be inviting another preventable injury. 

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Common misconception that someone wearing a knee brace is trying to prevent an injury.  Knee braces were designed to provide stability where it no longer exists on its own.  In other words, knee braces were designed to aid in the rehabilitation of a knee ligament injury.  So, when I injure my knee ligament, which is a chronic problem for me at this point, I have to wear my brace. 

The issue I have is during the few weeks that I have to wear my functional(solid) brace, I can't seem to find a good way to incorporate my knee guards and still get decent rotation. 

I'm not talking about wearing a knee brace because my knees are sore, I'm talking about repeatedly tearing scar tissue on a previously damaged ACL.  Yes I have an Ortho that has confirmed this and I have done the whole physical therapy thing over and over again over the last 16 years since the original injury. 

Until my ACL tears to the point I can't walk on it, my insurance company says this is how I live with it.  My Dr. says, "if you want to play.. play, but wear this until it heals up then just wrap it or wear a sleeve.  After 3 or 4 PT stints, I know the stretches, the exercises, the foam rolling, etc.. 

None of us thought it would go on this long.

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13 minutes ago, jayluv54 said:

Common misconception that someone wearing a knee brace is trying to prevent an injury.  Knee braces were designed to provide stability where it no longer exists on its own.  In other words, knee braces were designed to aid in the rehabilitation of a knee ligament injury.  So, when I injure my knee ligament, which is a chronic problem for me at this point, I have to wear my brace. 

The issue I have is during the few weeks that I have to wear my functional(solid) brace, I can't seem to find a good way to incorporate my knee guards and still get decent rotation. 

I'm not talking about wearing a knee brace because my knees are sore, I'm talking about repeatedly tearing scar tissue on a previously damaged ACL.  Yes I have an Ortho that has confirmed this and I have done the whole physical therapy thing over and over again over the last 16 years since the original injury. 

Until my ACL tears to the point I can't walk on it, my insurance company says this is how I live with it.  My Dr. says, "if you want to play.. play, but wear this until it heals up then just wrap it or wear a sleeve.  After 3 or 4 PT stints, I know the stretches, the exercises, the foam rolling, etc.. 

None of us thought it would go on this long.

I hear ya.  It would be easier if you switched up your style and played stand up.  No need for rotation.  I got nuthin' otherwise.  

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7 hours ago, jayluv54 said:

Common misconception that someone wearing a knee brace is trying to prevent an injury.  Knee braces were designed to provide stability where it no longer exists on its own.  In other words, knee braces were designed to aid in the rehabilitation of a knee ligament injury.  So, when I injure my knee ligament, which is a chronic problem for me at this point, I have to wear my brace. 

The issue I have is during the few weeks that I have to wear my functional(solid) brace, I can't seem to find a good way to incorporate my knee guards and still get decent rotation. 

I'm not talking about wearing a knee brace because my knees are sore, I'm talking about repeatedly tearing scar tissue on a previously damaged ACL.  Yes I have an Ortho that has confirmed this and I have done the whole physical therapy thing over and over again over the last 16 years since the original injury. 

Until my ACL tears to the point I can't walk on it, my insurance company says this is how I live with it.  My Dr. says, "if you want to play.. play, but wear this until it heals up then just wrap it or wear a sleeve.  After 3 or 4 PT stints, I know the stretches, the exercises, the foam rolling, etc.. 

None of us thought it would go on this long.

I'm sorry to hear that man. Bulk of the hinges etc aside... I can't think of an effective was to incorporate it with knee guards unless you have something custom done which also allows for the rotation necessary. I honestly can't imagine trying to play goal with one on at all... but I hope you do find a way... full ACL tear is a bear and I wouldn't want to see you follow up this post at a later date saying it happened. 

What about maybe attaching a neoprene sleeve and having knee/thigh protection attached to it instead of an entire knee guard in addition to the brace? 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey all.  I was googling and found the goaliestore.com thread about braces, CTI, DonJoy, Fusions and it brought me to here.

Ive sustained a full thickness ACL tear, right knee. Saw one Ortho doc who said i dont need surgery just to give up hockey. Then referred me to another because he (the original ortho doc doesnt do ACL repairs anymore, just replacements on older folks).  I see the next Ortho doc on July 30th.  

So question be, can i play with one of these "super" braces? Or is it only if i have surgery to help support the knee 9months to a year down the road when i can step on the ice again?

Cheers,

Tom"Chester"

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