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If you’ve been prescribed a knee immobilizer, it’s important to make sure that it stays in place. Otherwise, you may find that it slips and causes discomfort. In this article, we will discuss how to keep knee immobilizer from slipping so that you can remain comfortable and mobile.
What Injuries Require a Knee Immobilizer?
A knee immobilizer is often prescribed for people who have suffered a knee injury, such as ACL tears or meniscus injuries. It is used to protect the knee joint after surgery. The immobilizer keeps the knee from moving so that it can heal properly.
What is a Knee Immobilizer?
A knee immobilizer is a device that is used to stabilize the knee joint. It is often prescribed for people who have suffered a knee injury or who have had surgery on the knee. The immobilizer helps to keep the knee stationary, minimizing the amount of knee pain you have to endure while in the acute stage of healing.
How Does a Knee Immobilizer Work?
A knee immobilizer is necessary because it helps to protect the knee joint. When you have an injury or surgery, your knee joint is very vulnerable. If you move it too much, you could cause more damage. The immobilizer helps to keep your knee still so that it can heal properly.
Typical injuries that can occur if your knee mobilizer isn’t in the correct place are dislocation, subluxation, or several knee injuries, like an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
How Does a Knee Immobilizer Work?
A knee immobilizer is a device that is worn around the leg and fastened at the knee. It usually consists of a foam pad that goes around the knee, two metal bars on either side of the knee, and velcro straps that help to keep it in place.
Normal Issues with Knee Immobilizer
One of the most common problems with knee immobilizers is that they can slip. This can be very uncomfortable and can even cause the device to rub against the skin, which can lead to irritation. If you’re having trouble keeping your knee immobilizer in place, there are a few things you can do to help.
How to Make Sure Your Knee Immobilizer is the Right Size
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your knee immobilizer is the right size. If it’s too big, it will be more likely to slip. If it’s too small, it will be uncomfortable and may not provide the support you need.
Large knee braces, while more comfortable, will not provide the support needed to ensure you heal without further damage occurring in your knee joint. Braces that are too small may be too tight, causing discomfort, and the inability for a patient to adhere to the wearing schedule. The right brace will stay in place and be the best solution, ensuring your knee doesn’t have another serious injury causing further knee problems.
While there are a ton of different sizes the best way to prevent the knee brace from slipping is by making sure the straps of the brace fit securely in the right place. Since there are many different kinds of knee braces there is not a one-size-fits-all all approach to securing your brace.
Fit Guide For a Knee Immobilizer
The best way to ensure your knee immobilizer stays in place is to have it fit properly. Here are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when measuring for a knee immobilizer:
– The foam pad should sit around the kneecap without putting pressure on it.
– The metal bars should be on either side of the knee joint, not resting on it.
– The straps should be tight enough to keep the knee immobilizer in place but not so tight that they cut off circulation.
Once you have the proper measurements, you can purchase a knee immobilizer that will fit snugly and provide the support you need.
If you’re still having trouble keeping your knee immobilizer in place, there are a few other things you can try.
How to Keep Knee Immobilizer From Slipping
There are many ways to keep your knee immobilizer from slipping. From my experience, the best ways are the following:
Medical tape can help to keep the knee immobilizer in place and prevent it from slipping.
Knee socks can help to keep the knee immobilizer in place and prevent it from slipping.
Like knee socks, an ace bandage can help to keep the knee immobilizer in place and prevent it from slipping.
Adjust the Straps
Make sure that the straps on the knee immobilizer are tight enough so that it doesn’t slip but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. In my experience, I felt like I was constantly adjusting the velcro straps, you may feel the same.
Wear loose-fitting clothing: Tight clothing, like tight leggings, can make it more difficult to keep the knee immobilizer in place. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help to prevent this issue. This is because the bunched, loose, material provides a tighter overall fit and makes it difficult for the brace to move.
Leggings or Tights
While wearing tighter clothing under a brace isn’t helpful, wearing an elastic pair of clothing over the brace helped me keep it in place. This could be leggings, or in my particular case, a pair of comfortable loungewear. Putting a pair of tighter yet comfortable pants over the knee immobilizer can help keep it in place and prevent it from slipping.
Towel or Pillow
Using a folded towel or pillow underneath the knee can help to keep your knee elevated and relatively stationary, therefore preventing it from slipping.
While all these tips are useful and paid huge dividends during my own four surgeries, it is also important to note that having the assistance of someone else to adjust your immobilizer is also supremely helpful.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your knee immobilizer in place and prevent it from slipping. This will help you to remain comfortable and mobile while you heal.
What to Avoid While in a Knee Immobilizer
There are a few things that you should avoid while you are in a knee immobilizer. First, you should avoid putting any pressure on the knee. This means that you should not stand for long periods or walk too much.
Second, you should avoid crossing your legs. This can put unnecessary pressure on the knee and may cause the knee immobilizer to slip.
Third, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach. This can also put pressure on the knee and may cause the knee immobilizer to slip.
Most Common Types of Knee Immobilizers
There are many different braces. The most common and best brace is the heavier-duty hinged brace, while the patella stabilizing knee immobilizer, and the figure-eight knee immobilizer or also common immobilizers.
Hinged Knee Immobilizer: This type of brace has a polycentric hinge on either side of the knee joint. These hinges allow for a small amount of movement while still providing support and stability. This is the most common type prescribed for a majority of major knee surgeries, like serious tears and other types of orthopedic surgery.
Patella Stabilizing Knee Immobilizer: This type of knee immobilizer has a strap that goes around the circumference of your thigh and another strap that goes around the calf. These adjustable straps help to stabilize the patella (kneecap). This brace is perfect for mild sprains.
Figure-Eight Knee Immobilizer: This type of knee immobilizer wraps around the leg securing itself with the velcro part of the straps in a figure-eight pattern. It helps to provide support and stability while still allowing for a small amount of movement. It can also be altered with additional straps ensuring you are getting maximum support while getting back into your exercise routine.
No matter which type of knee immobilizer you use, it is important to follow the tips above to prevent it from slipping. By doing so, you will be able to remain comfortable and mobile while you heal.
How to Take Care of Your Knee Immobilizer
It’s important to take care of your knee immobilizer so that it can continue to support your knee joint. You should clean it regularly with soap and water. After cleaning make sure to always dry it thoroughly. You should also inspect it for any rips or tears. If you find any damage, you should replace the immobilizer.
You should also avoid getting the immobilizer wet. If you do get it wet ensure to dry off thoroughly. Taking care of your brace will ensure it continues to be the perfect fit. The better the condition of your brace, and the stricter you are with the wearing schedule, the sooner you will get to the daily activities or physical activities that give your life meaning.
Typical Wearing Schedule for Knee Immobilizer
The typical wearing schedule for a knee immobilizer is around the clock for the first few weeks. After that, you may only need to wear it at night.
Your doctor will let you know when you can start removing the brace and for how long. It is important to follow your doctor’s orders and not remove the brace before you are supposed to. Doing so may cause further damage to your knee, delaying your return to typical daily life.
How to Heal Your Knee the Quickest
There are a few things that you can do to help your knee heal quickly. Below is a list of the most prominent things you should focus on.
- Follow the instructions of your doctor or physical therapist. Your rehabilitation specialist, surgeon, and all other medical personnel will provide evidence-based protocols to follow to optimize the healing process.
- Ice your knee for 20 minutes at a time several times a day. When icing there are several different mediums you can use, such as a frozen bag of peas, a commercial gel pack, an ice pack, or even a plastic bag filled with ice cubes and water.
- Take any medications that are prescribed to you. These may include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You may also be prescribed other medication, like medication to help prevent infection, etc. All medications are very important to take as prescribed because they will help you to heal quickly and reduce your pain.
- Keep your knee immobilizer clean and dry. This means that you should avoid getting it wet or dirty. You should also avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for long periods as this can cause the materials to break down.
- Elevate your leg above heart level when possible. This helps increase circulation to the area and can help reduce swelling.
- Complete any exercises that are prescribed to you. Gaining muscle strength will enable you to heal your knee quickly and get back to your normal activities.
- Wear your knee immobilizer as directed. This means that you should not take it off for any reason other than to shower or bathe. Generally, when you heal sufficiently you are moved into a different brace. Functional braces, such as the DonJoy Playmaker II, help you regain mobility and function.
While it is important to follow your healthcare provider’s orders and only use the knee immobilizer for the prescribed amount of time, it is also important to listen to your body.
Knee Compression Sleeve
After you are far enough along in your injury recovery, you may be able to switch to wearing a knee compression sleeve instead of a knee immobilizer.
A knee compression sleeve is much more comfortable to wear and does not limit your mobility as much as a knee immobilizer does.
A common type of knee sleeve is made of soft, durable, materials. A cotton-lycra knee sleeve is easier to put on and take off, making it a better option for exercising during your recovery period when your sports medicine provider deems it appropriate.
A knee immobilizer is a device used to keep the knee in a stationary position after an injury. It can also be worn after surgery to keep the knee stabilized. There are many different types of knee immobilizers, but they all have the same basic function. They work by restricting the movement of the joint and preventing it from bending or rotating. This helps to reduce pain and swelling and allows the injured area to heal properly.
Knee immobilizers are usually prescribed by a doctor, and should only be worn as directed, even while in physical therapy. Several issues can occur when wearing a knee immobilizer. The main problem is that it can slip down the leg, which can cause discomfort and make it difficult to walk. To prevent this from happening, you need to follow the tips above.
By following these tips, you can prevent your knee immobilizer from slipping and ensure that it performs its function properly. This will help you to heal quickly and get back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
About the Author
Hi there! I’m Dr. Keagen Hadley, OTD, OTR/L. Straight out of the University of Mary, I’m all about blending my know-how in knee health, well-being, and medical technology. As a licensed occupational therapy doc, I’m here to translate complex concepts into clear, actionable insights – whether it’s knee care or groundbreaking healthcare tech.