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Finding the Right Knee Brace for Your Recovery Program


Should you experience knee pain or sustain a knee injury, you may consider integrating a knee brace into your recovery program. 

A knee brace is one component of a comprehensive treatment program prescribed by your doctor and healthcare team. There are many benefits to the use of knee braces during the recovery process. These benefits include knee pain relief, stability during functional activities or exercise, and post-surgical support. Read more on the benefits of knee braces here.

Finding the right knee brace for your recovery program

The first step in integrating a knee brace into your recovery program is to actually obtain the knee brace. 

Do you know that you have many options in obtaining a knee brace? 

Here on the blog we will cover the various ways you can obtain a knee brace, including at a doctor’s office, over-the-counter, or from a medical equipment supplier. For each option, it is important to consult with your doctor and healthcare team to determine which option is best for your condition.


Doctor's Office 

If your doctor determines that a brace is medically necessary for you, they will write you a prescription. Sometimes they are able to dispense the knee brace to you directly in the clinic so that you may go home with it that day. 

Your doctor or someone on staff will fit you for the knee brace in the clinic. They will also give you very specific instructions for wearing and using your knee brace. This is especially true for post-surgical cases. If you are working with a physical therapist, take your knee brace to your sessions, as they will also be able to instruct you.

If you think you need a knee brace, check out our previous blog posts on how to help your doctor determine if you need a knee brace, as well as general tips on communicating with your doctor.


Over-the-Counter (OTC)

Many types of knee braces are available over-the-counter (i.e., without a prescription) at local retail or drug stores. These types of knee braces tend to be best for pain relief. An example of this type of knee brace is a knee sleeve. It is good for comfort, but typically not as strong or durable as knee braces aimed at providing stability or support (like the Aspen OA Knee+, which is not available as an OTC knee brace).

While it may be tempting to quickly buy one of these OTC knee braces, it is strongly recommended to consult with your doctor first. Sometimes at your doctor’s appointment, your doctor will even let you know exactly what OTC brace to buy. Otherwise, they may give you a prescription and refer you to a medical equipment supplier.


Medical Equipment Suppliers

Medical equipment suppliers are exactly what their name implies - they dispense medical equipment and supplies to patients. Knee and other braces are considered “durable medical equipment” - supplies that can be used in the home to improve your function and quality of life. So make sure the medical supplier that you are working with is an expert in durable medical equipment. 

Your doctor may prescribe the knee brace and write a referral for you to a durable medical equipment supplier. Durable medical equipment suppliers will assist you in working with your insurance and obtaining coverage for your knee brace.


Elite Medical Supply

An example of a medical equipment supplier is Elite Medical Supply. We are a Medicare contract supplier for durable medical equipment. We specialize in knee and back braces. Contact Elite Medical Supply to find out if you may qualify for a Medicare-covered knee or back brace at little or no cost to you. 

If you are not a Medicare patient, Elite Medical Supply of New York can assist with in-home fitting, training, and delivery of your brace. Contact us to find out if you are in our service area.

Written by Dr. Jenny Hunnicutt

Dr. Jenny Hunnicutt is a licensed athletic trainer with a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science. As the owner of Hunnicutt Writing and Consulting, LLC, she collaborates with global institutions, spearheading innovation and research among professionals and businesses in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Learn more at https://drhunnicutt.com.