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How do I Choose the Best Leg Brace?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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A leg brace is often utilized to deal with severe injuries to the foot and ankle. The old fashioned wooden leg brace is rarely used and has been replaced by neoprene and magnetic braces among others. When choosing a leg brace, the first consult a medical professional to see if the brace will be appropriate. Issues such as comfort and price must also be considered, and new technology should be utilized. Leg braces should never be bought from any vendor that does not have an excellent reputation.

Leg braces are used on occasions when the bones or joints of that area need to be immobilized. They are also used to help support an individual with a weak leg or who has experienced tissue loss. Most commonly, braces are used to deal with fractures and sprains of the lower part of the leg.

Although a leg brace may seem like the right solution to a problem, a person suffering from the injury should first consult an orthotist, i.e., a specialist in leg braces. There is a possibility that a brace will not be of any benefit. The individual seeking the brace needs to know this beforehand. A brace can also be expensive, especially if brand new technology has been used in its production.

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As the brace is likely to be worn for a long time, it is vital to choose a comfortable one. There is always the possibility that certain brace materials could irritate the skin so components that do this must be avoided. Price is also a major issue. Even when a patient finds a leg brace that is a good fit, it is still wise to shop around and look for other brands. This is because there is often a large disparity in cost when it comes to specialized equipment.

There have been major advancements in leg braces. At one time, wooden braces were the standard but times have changed rapidly. For example, ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are now made from plastic and rigidly control the motion of the ankle. There are also custom made orthopedic boots made from Kevlar and carbon fibers available.

Since leg braces are specialized pieces of equipment, it is important to look for a manufacturer that is well known and trusted. It would be disastrous to purchase a leg brace that failed to do its job. Avoid poor quality work by listening to an orthotist’s recommendation.

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bluedolphin
Post 3

@SarahGen-- I don't think what you're using is called a brace though. That's called a leg sleeve. A brace is something that immobilizes that body part. That's its purpose. It promotes healing that way.

turquoise
Post 2

@SarahGen-- That's right. I think it's a good idea to speak with an orthopedic doctor about using leg braces and support products because there are so many different types that serve so many different purposes. It's difficult to select the right one.

Of course, if there is an injury, the doctor will definitely recommend any medical supplies that need to be used. But even in cases when it's not required, a doctor's recommendation can help select the right one.

I, for example, needed an ankle brace due to repeated ankle injuries and tendinitis. There were too many options but my doctor helped me select the best one for my needs.

SarahGen
Post 1

Some commercial leg braces don't exactly immobilize the leg. These are meant to provide support during minor injuries or to prevent injuries from occurring.

I use this type of leg brace. It's made of elastic material. It provides support and compression to my leg area but doesn't limit movement. I have a weak left knee and have had injuries in the past. So I use the brace when jogging or exercising to prevent any mishap. It works wonderfully.

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