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knee braces for skiing + kiteboarding

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  • knee braces for skiing + kiteboarding

    PT going well, i guess. I walked 10 ft without crutches. not sure i could have walked 11 ft, but hey one week before i struggled to stand still with half my body weight on my injured leg. So progress.

    which has me thinking about preparations for being sporty again.

    Does anyone have experience with knee braces for activities like skiing. Brands, styles, benefits, etc. I also plan on talking with my PT and Orthopedist but those having direct experience can help fill in the info from pros that don't necessarily do the same sports as me.

    also, i guess same question for ankle braces for non-skiing.

    thanks for any info.

  • #2
    I used one of these for a season after meniscus surgery and it wasn’t terrible.


    • #3
      I have used the Donjoy Playmaker II and it is most comfortable for ski touring and training.

      I have also used the Donjoy Fullforce for lift access skiing where I might need a little more protection and stability.

      If I were to only get one it would be the Playmaker II


      • #4
        The type of brace will depend on what you are trying to protect. I have used a brace to support a torn ACL and a completely different style brace for a lateral unloader.

        Did not use any brace after a meniscus surgery. Everybodys different.

        The best information will come from a good Orthopedic Surgeon. They will also tell you if a brace is even a good idea.


        • #5
          Dan, thanks,
          i have looked at both of those, and they are on my "list" along with the knee armor.

          is the playmaker II too long to fit above a ski boot? the fullforce and armor both come in a short calf that looked better for skiing, but perhaps not.

          also, how was the forcepoint hinge with that spring in it?


          • #6
            At a minimum I would use a good compression type sleeve over the knees. I’ve been using the G-Form Pro X and Elite knee guards skiing and Mtn biking, which also act as simple braces with their compression properties. I feel naked skiing without them and my knees are better after a day wearing them compared to not.
            Function in disaster, finish in style.


            • #7
              Well I'd work up to walking a mile a day before worrying about kneebraces , but am cheered that you are up, about and thinking about skiing next season. You didn't need them before and if you get strong or stronger again and ease into the season and talk to your doc about it. Surgery with solid therapy it might actually be stronger than before over the long run. When I got all beat up I obsessed about full body armor!. Broke ankle and never needed to back it up. Knees are a different beast and I've not had any knee issues.


              • #8
                yeah, first priority is getting strong enough to even consider skiing. best i have done in one go so far is about 1/2 mile with crutches, 1/2 mile at 55% body weight in the AlterG, and 20 feet of "normal person" walking".

                Despite a "setback" day on tues, things are getting better. Positive mental outlook is at least 75% the game. I expect by leap day, while i won't be leaping, i should be walking around the house without a crutch.

                And my bad ankle sprain diagnosis has been supplemented with a partial ligament tear. no difference in treatment, but extends the recovery a little more. I think it was good planning to spread the injuries around so that while i broke a bone and tore ligaments in my knee and ankle, i didn't hurt anything bad enough for surgery. i can tell that rehabing the knee is being held back by the ankle right now.

                i am currently in a compression sleeve for both the knee and ankle, and they help a lot for swelling, and also for psychological well being. I definitely feel better with them on than off. i expect i will use them or similar for sports at the least.

                I had a talk with my PT guy while i was in the ice machine after yesterday's session. his thoughts were that for knees injuries like mine, braces are of limited usefulness. its hard to add much support to a knee with a brace (aside from impacts or hyperflexation), but can be good for piece of mind and thus enjoyment, but can be bad if they are a negative mental reminder or cause you to do compensations. He was more in the camp of get strong, keep it warm while while skiing. based on that input, i would not spend a lot of money on a brace. Still will talk with my orthopedist.


                • #9
                  When I spiraled my Fib I also tore ligaments on the outside of my ankle just below the break. I have played with a number of ankle braces as the ligament damage was/is way more of a problem than the bone break. The brace that works the best for me and one I still wear all the time biking and hiking is a Aso lace up brace. It is better and more supportive than any velcro brace and the one I have is still very functional after over 10 years of a lot of use. They can be had at Amazon for under $30.00. I never tried it inside a ski boot but it fits easily with shoes and boots. I use to wear it all the time windsurfing.

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                  "Just say no to groomed snow"


                  • #10
                    I have used a variety of braces during the recoveries from a dozen knee surgeries. I tweaked my natural knee a few weeks ago, TKR will be sooner than I'd like. For the uptrack all I use is the neoprene adjustable-sleeve type. It has very moderate support. For the down I put this on over it:

                    Yesterday, it worked very nicely for descending 2000' in dense (13% according to the snow rangers) fresh snow. I think it's too restrictive for the up. It was not expensive, being about $24-$30 at the pharmacy
                    Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!


                    • #11
                      i actually have that exact brace, under a different brand. It is what the orthopedist put on after the break healed enough to start weight bearing. at least it looks exactly the same, lace up, ventilated tongue, "X" wrap straps that go across under, and velcro up the sides. some thin plastic lateral reinforcements, and the velcro elastic top that goes around everything. i am no longer using it for rehab, but the PT wants me to continue to use it if i go anywhere with uneven ground for the time being. It is pretty nice, and i plan on using that for kiting, assuming i need it, which i expect for at least the first few sessions i will. and while i hadn't thought of it, yes to hiking to. I do hope to get strong enough not to need it, but i am still very concerned about re-injury. I need to get over that, and getting strong and doing stuff is the best way.

                      thanks good to know you think it is worth using. i have seen that brace and similar mueller's with different arrangements, like the HG80. as well as a host of others that are similar. in the end i very well may end up just getting a bunch and keeping what fits best, and sending the rest back. not much too lose. And damn, that is a lot of surgeries.


                      • #12
                        Good luck with rehab. "Gotta crawl before you walk" as my dear mom used to say. When I got put on crutches, I couldn't go anywhere because we literally lived in the snowpack. Went out for my first walk after surgery and post-holed my crutches. I was trapped. The nearby roads were too glaciated and crutch crampon had not been invented yet. If I wanted to walk I had to get to the snowmachine in the yard and then drive a mile to the highway and walk the shoulder. I recall the little green mile markers 17 and 18 very well. After working up to two miles over a few months, I went to the mountains again. It was spring-time and that was huge for my recovery.

                        I think banging knees skiing hard or with falls, perhaps more so while telemarking, can cause issues. Seem like whenever I forget to wear knees pads, my knees are "tweeked" for a few days in all sort of places. Never an issue when I wear my knee-pads, which I try to do all the time.


                        • #13
                          Are you kiting on a foil, smoother ride and should be better for you legs.


                          • #14
                            mako, so as smooth as a twin tip gets.

                            i had planned on waiting a few years for foil design to steady state, and teaching to get a little more flushed out. that timeline might get pulled up. i'll see how the summer goes.


                            • #15
                              +1 to kneepads that keep your knees warm. I've been using these Burton/Red neoprene rigs for 20 years, and I hope they never die, because I haven't seen anything else like them. I don't know that the lateral stabilizers actually do anything, but I've yet to get hurt wearing them, and now I feel naked riding the chairlift without them.

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