Are knee braces effective?

Knee braces may be worn to provide knee stability, prevent injury and protect the knee while healing from an injury or surgery. But are they really effective?

There are studies that suggest wearing a knee brace can help reduce knee pain and instability. However, there are also studies suggesting there are no clinical benefits to wearing knee supports. In order to assess the effectiveness of a knee brace, it’s important to consider the type of knee support in question. There are five general categories of knee braces: Prophylactic braces, functional braces, rehabilitative braces, unloader braces and knee sleeves.

Important questions to ask your doctor before back surgery

Each year, about half a million Americans undergo back surgery for a number of reasons. Surgery is often the treatment of choice for a variety of causes of back pain. It may be used to remove the herniated portion of a disk, remove bone overlying the spinal canal, fuse together two or more bones in the spine to add stability, or implant artificial disks to eliminate pain from degenerated or injured disks.