Recommended for mild or moderate ligament joint pain, sprains, strains, Osgood Schlatter disease or patellar instabilities.
The main difference between the Hinged Patella brace and the straight Performer Patella is the hinge on either side of the brace, which provide more support for the knee. Like the unhinged version, this brace does not provide as much specific kneecap support as the DonJoy Tru-Pull Advanced (which gives the most support for the patella), but it does provide moderate support for the entire knee.
Neoprene, the material used to make the Performer Hinged Patella brace, is a warm, waterproof material, commonly used to make wetsuits. The compression provided by the neoprene makes it an excellent brace for any of the above conditions, and helps to control any swelling of the knee.
The pads that are sewn into the structure of the brace, in a horseshoe shape under and around the kneecap, add extra support for the patella. The pads also help to keep the kneecap properly aligned during activity, while the open space over the kneecap allows the knee to bend without restriction. Two wide, adjustable Velcro straps, one on the thigh and the other on the calf, allow for a more customized fit and provide extra support, compression, and comfort.
The brace has medial and lateral uprights and soft, polycentric hinges that conform to the natural movement of the knee joint so knee action is unimpeded. There is a certain amount of flexibility in the uprights, so if you find that they dig into the thigh, you can bend out the upper part of the upright to make it more comfortable to wear.
Some users report that this brace can feel heavy, especially when running long distances, although they have been able to return to running marathons when other methods (such as orthotic inserts or physical therapy) failed to help.
The brace is safe to use during many sporting activities, for instance, basketball and tennis, although it is not designed for severe ACL instability, and does not provide the same level of protection as more rigid braces. For long distance running, consider the DonJoy Tru-Pull Lite, which is lighter and cooler to wear. For the best ACL protection, consider the DonJoy Playmaker or Hinged Knee.
The brace is available in five sizes ranging from a thigh measurement of 15 ½” to 29 ½”, and a calf measurement of 12” to 22”. To choose the correct size, measure your thigh 6” above the knee, around the center of the kneecap, and 6” below the knee. If your measurements suggest that you are between sizes, choose the larger as the Velcro straps can be tightened for a better fit.
Care of the brace is straightforward. If it is used in salt water or chlorinated water it should be rinsed off with fresh water. Wash it by hand, using cold water and a mild laundry detergent. Don’t put it in the dryer, but lay it flat to air-dry. A Teflon-based lubricant (bicycle lubricant) is good for the hinges if the brace is often in water.
- Medial/Lateral polycentric aluminum hinges
- Thigh and calf straps provide additional support and compression
- Sewn-in pad for additional patellar support
- Compressive neoprene support