Category Archives: Knee Bracing

CTI Knee bracing for ACL Ligament
Unloader 1 for knee arthritis

New Orthotic Clinic in Southampton Now Open

We are proud to announce that we have opened a new orthotic clinic in Southampton this month. Located at the Velmore Community Centre in Chandlers Ford, just outside Eastleigh, the clinic will provide treatment for plagiocephaly as well as bracing for weak and damaged knees.Orthotic clinic in Southampton

About Our Orthotic Clinic in Southampton

Our Southampton orthotic clinic will be run by Peter Honeycombe, who is already lead Orthotist at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital NHS Trust. Peter has been qualified for over 25 years and has extensive experience covering almost all aspects of paediatric and adult orthotic practice, making him well placed to lead our new orthotic clinic in Southampton.Peter Honeycombe from the Southampton orthotic clinic

Peter originally established the orthortic department at Basingstoke as a training centre for University of Salford undergraduates. He has worked as an external examiner and given presentations to consultants, GPs and physiotherapists. He has also been an Executive Committee member, Secretary and Chair of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, completing his term of office in 2012.

Peter treated our son in the Basingstoke clinic last year, and all I can say is what a lovely man. He always explained everything and listened to our concerns, he also had a lovely nature towards our little boy.

- Client testimonial, via Facebook

The clinic is conveniently located 20 minutes’ walk from Chandlers Ford railway station, with excellent transport links to Southampton, Eastleigh and surrounding areas.

Click here for address, map and directions.

To book an appointment at our orthotic clinic in Southampton, please contact us directly on 0330 100 1800

How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Snowboarding

This 5 minute guide explains how to prevent knee injuries while snowboarding, helpful if you want to support a previously weakened ACL and protect against further damage.

When Do Snowboarding Knee Injuries Occur?

ACL (anterior cruiciate ligament) injuries are among the most common sustained by snowboarders, second only to wrist fractures. Snowboarding knee injuries tend to occur when miscalculated jumps, tricks and collisions place an unnatural strain on the ligaments. Even getting off a chairlift can be enough to cause damage if you twist and put all your weight on your knees as you land.

In September last year, Billy Morgan, the first snowboarder to land a triple backside rodeo (three flips in mid-air), ruptured the ACL and MCL (anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligamentsl) in his right knee during training. Billy was set to compete for Team GB at Sochi 2014, and understandably he was devastated. However, he didn’t let his snowboarding knee injuries stop him.

With the right physiotherapy and support, Billy managed not only to compete in the Winter Olympics, but qualified for the finals with an incredible 90.7, eventually finishing 10th. And a couple of weeks later, France’s snowboard cross champion Pierre Vaultier won gold – having torn his ACL just two months before the games.

How to Prevent Knee Injuries While Snowboarding

As the above examples show, snowboarding knee injuries such as ACL tears needn’t stop you from enjoying the sport, or indeed returning to a high performance level.

Neither Billy Morgan nor Pierre Vaultier had surgery. This can take up to six months, so rather than miss the games they were willing to risk further injury in order to compete. However, if you have suffered a torn ACL and wish to continue participating in high-demand physical activity, surgery is recommended. It will help you regain stability, in turn enabling a safe return to sport without the danger of another, potentially more severe injury.

If you have already undergone surgery and/or wish to support a partially torn ligament or weak knee, a good quality ACL knee brace is the best solution. This is what enabled Billy Morgan and Pierre Vaultier to give such a fantastic performance in the games – against all odds.

Choosing Knee Braces for Snowboardingcti knee braces for snowboarding

The best knee braces for snowboarding are those which provide rigid control and support for the entire knee, preventing unnatural movement. Fabric knee supports are not supportive enough to provide full protection against such movement, making them inadequate as a safeguard against snowboarding knee injuries.

Two of the best known knee braces for snowboarding are:

  • Ossur CTi – combining a rigid carbon composite frame with silicone padding and tibial straps, the CTi is both highly supportive and incredibly comfortable.
  • DonJoy Armor FourcePoint – this is made with a light, aircraft-quality aluminium frame, steel outer plates and anti-migration padding to give incredible protection and support.

how to prevent knee injuries while snowboardingEach of these knee braces for snowboarding are favoured by amateur and professional snowboarders the world over. If you would like to give one a try, Technology in Motion supplies both and can help you decide on the best ACL knee brace to suit your injury and lifestyle. We have clinics up and down the UK and are recommended by physiotherapists and orthopaedic consultants nationwide.

I hope this has given you a clearer picture of how to prevent knee injuries while snowboarding. However, please call us on 0113 218 8030 if you would like further information or advice and we’ll be happy to help.

Which Are the Best Knee Braces for Sports Injuries?

Choosing the Right Brace for Your Knee Ligament Injury

A torn or ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the most common types of knee injury, most often seen in athletes. Following his injury in Arsenal’s first game of 2014, news of Theo Walcott’s ruptured ACL devastated fans as it was revealed that he would be out of action for at least six months. He will be undergoing reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament, followed by a six-month recovery period. Knee braces for sports are usually recommended in such cases to support and protect the weakened ACL and help patients return to an activity level that’s as close to their original standard as possible.

If you have suffered an ACL injury, the correct knee brace knee braces for sportscan enable you to return to your favourite sports with full confidence. Even if you haven’t been injured but simply have unstable knees, knee braces for sports can help provide you with the extra protection and support you require while minimising further damage.

Which Knee Braces to Choose for Sports Injuries

While soft knee braces are the cheapest option, usually available on the internet or out of a therapist’s cupboard, they will not give adequate control in high-impact, high-energy situations or where there is low speed high torque in the knee, making them unsuitable for those who regularly participate in vigorous physical activity.

The best knee braces for sports injuries are those with a rigid shell, which are designed to protect and support all the key ligaments. A rigid, well fitted ACL knee brace will give your joints greater control and precision of movement than a soft elasticated type can, improving performance and helping protect against further damage.

Össur’s CTi and DonJoy’s Armor FourcePoint, available through Technology in Motion, are favoured by active individuals and sporting professionals all over the world, from keen skiers to pro skateboarders. They combine a firm laminated carbon composite or aluminium frame with  flexible sub-shells, silicone padding and adjustable tibial strap to give full comfort, support and adjustability. They are ideal for ACL, MCL, LCL and PCL injuries of all kinds, including rotational and combined instabilities.

ACL knee braceIf you’re looking for the best knee brace to suit your injury and lifestyle, contact Technology in Motion today. We have been supplying knee braces for sports injuries for over 20 years and have access to a wide range of knee braces for sports, including those from Össur and DonJoy. We will take a detailed history of the injury and test all your ligaments, enabling us to find the right solution for you.

Please call 0330 100 1800 or 0113 218 8030 to arrange an appointment or for more information on our UK clinics, products and services.

What to Do if You’ve Ruptured Your ACL

Choosing the Right Treatment for Your Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

Rupturing your ACL can be an extremely painful experience. The injury is caused by an uncontrolled high load, which stretches and breaks the controlling ligament. This can occur when participating in high energy sports such as skiing or motocross, and can also result from a simple trip or fall when wearing skis, whichRuptured ACL overstretch the ligaments. Patients who see us usually report an unnatural fall, twist and pop as the ligament tears, and then the knee swells almost immediately. This can be followed by pain and instability. A ruptured ACL destabilises the knee joint, which can lead to early arthritic changes in later life. This post explains what to do if you’ve ruptured your ACL, easing the pain, helping prevent further injury and enabling you to continue participating in the activities you enjoy.

Non-Surgical Torn ACL Treatment

Following injury, the first thing to do is follow the RICE regime.  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. These will allow the knee joint to settle and the immediate torn damage to resolve. Once broken, though, an ACL ligament can only be repaired by surgery. Unless your ruptured ACL is combined with another knee injury such as a damaged meniscus, bone bruise or other ligament tear, non-surgical ACL treatment can be adequate once the swelling has subsided. This involves wearing an ACL knee brace to support the knee and prevent it from sustaining further injury. ACL knee braces are also recommended after surgery to help you achieve a full recovery and return to a performance level that’s as close to your original standard as possible.

What to Look for in an ACL Knee Brace

CTI knee braceWhen choosing your ACL knee brace, there are several features you should look out for. It needs to be comfortable, with ample, non-slip padding and plenty of adjustability for maximum comfort and support. At the same time it must have a rigid frame to prevent your knee from slipping into an unnatural position.

Your knee brace should be made from a lightweight material to minimise restriction on movement, and if you participate in water sports, be sure to choose one made from a non-corrosive material such as carbon composite.

The CTi knee brace combines all the above features with many others and is highly recommended for sports injuries of all kinds. It’s also ideal for those with pre-existing joint instability who are looking to prevent further damage. You can find out more about its innovative features and benefits here.

Surgical Torn ACL Treatment

If you have other knee injuries as well as a ruptured ACL, you might want to consider surgical treatment as the injury will be unable to heal fully by itself. Cartilage tears, meniscus injuries, bone bruises, PCL tears, posterolateral injuries and collateral ligament injuries all hinder the healing process, so if you have any of these conditions, it may be worth asking your GP about surgery.

If you do choose to have surgery, you will probably be referred to a physiotherapist beforehand to prepare for treatment. Once ready, you will undergo a physical examination then your appointment will be arranged. Your physiotherapist or orthopaedic consultant will probably recommend that you follow up your treatment with an ACL knee brace to support your weakened knee and prevent further injury.

I hope this has given you a good idea as to what to do if you’ve ruptured your ACL. If you’d like more information on torn ACL treatment, visit the Knee Bracing section of our website or call us on 0330 100 1800 or 0113 218 8030 to speak to a specialist.

How to Protect Your Knees When Skiing

Protecting Your Knees from Damage While on the Slopes this Winterprotecting-your-knees-while-skiing

Skiing can play havoc on your knees. High speed descents, uneven slopes and extreme weather conditions, not to mention knocks from other less competent skiers, all combine to form a dangerous cocktail of risks. If your fitness is not at peak condition or your knee ligaments are already weakened or injured, the risk of further injury is greater still. This guide will give you a brief overview of how to protect your knees when skiing, enabling you to enjoy a worry-free holiday this winter.

Knee Protection for Skiing

The absolute best protection for your knees when skiing is quad muscle strength and if your fitness is not at its peak, your muscles can let you down towards the end of the day when you’re tired. So whether you need protection for a knee that you’re unsure of or you have a previous injury that may or may not have been repaired, you need a knee brace for skiing to provide protection and ensure that your holiday is a great one.

There are many soft knee braces on the market but these will not give adequate control in high-impact situations. A well fitted rigid shell knee brace will provide protection and support all the main knee ligaments, enabling your full joint range to give great control and precision of movement. By providing the confidence that you need, this in turn will protect you against further injury while out on the slopes. In the long term, a knee brace for skiing will enable you to strengthen controlling muscles by reducing the instabilities in your knee.

What to Look for in Your Knee Braces for Skiingknee braces for skiing

There are many knee braces that can be bought online or off the shelf but when choosing knee protection for skiing, it’s important that your knee braces are assessed and fitted correctly. Our reputable, well-established clinics have extensive experience in knee bracing and we have been providing the best since 1993. All of the clinician Orthotists at Technology in Motion are registered experts in their fields, and our knee bracing specialists provide quality solutions for patients with injuries and conditions of all kinds.

We provide knee braces from major suppliers such as Ossur or DonJoy to ensure optimal quality, consistency and value for money. Their lightweight carbon fibre and aircraft aluminium braces provide firm and comfortable control while offering maximum levels of adjustability and support. Essentially, it’s like wearing a crash helmet to protect against the disaster scenario.

A well fitted knee brace will give maximum support to the knee and provide four-point control, to protect all the major knee ligaments.  A good brace will also allow for controlled flexibility in the femoral and tibial areas, allowing your muscles to work effectively. All in all, it needs to be strong enough to absorb high activity impact without becoming cumbersome and uncomfortable over time.

As part of your kit, a well fitted brace will offer comfortable and effective knee protection for skiing, leaving you to enjoy your holiday without worry. If you would like to enquire further about our knee bracing solutions, call Technology in Motion on 0330 100 1800 or 0113 218 8030. You can also visit us at www.technologyinmotion.com for further information on how to protect your knees when skiing.

Inspirational Unloader 1

One of our Unloader 1 clients sent us this really inspirational email this week. He’s happy for us to share it anonymously and it’s great to know that we’re helping people of all ages to get the maximum out of their lives. This gentleman certainly goes to the max and is an inspiration to us all.

When you fitted me with my second Unloader 1 in October 2011, you said that you would like to review my progress, so here are a few observations on their use since then:

As I commented then, the effect of the first Unloader 1 seemed to be that it had straightened the knee to its proper position, removing the pain in the process. The second one seems to have had the same effect, so that after a few weeks I could walk comfortably without wearing either of them.

A major test was my wedding last November, when I spent most of the day on my feet without the Unloader 1’s and without pain, though I was a bit tired next morning. Put that down to my 73 years! However, on our honeymoon in Cyprus I found that walking on a rocky, uneven path to the Baths of Aphrodite without the Unloader 1’s jarred them and caused the pain to return. Lesson learned – I now wear them whenever I anticipate jarring of the knees. However, this still means that most day to day activities do not require me to use them.

In February, our trip to New Zealand was, as you predicted, amazing. The Unloader 1’s came into their own walking down steep slopes, trekking to the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, touring the thermal village at Rotorua, and especially descending the steep cliff path to beautiful Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel. (By then I was accustomed to wearing the Unloader 1’s whilst wearing shorts). I did not need them for mountain biking since the knees were not load bearing then. I also wore the braces at the airports to ease the pain of long corridors and even longer spent queuing. Apart from these activities, I spent the vast majority of the month sightseeing without them.

Since the Cyprus experience, I have worn the Unloader 1’s when playing golf and found them a great help and my knees have been pain free. Pity my golfing skills were not so effective! This week, however, I tried my first round of golf without the Unloader 1’s and found it most liberating and still pain free. (The golf, however, was not much improved).

All in all, the Unloader 1 braces have enabled me to keep involved in outdoor activities using them to protect the knee joints from jarring out of position where the risks were apparent. But most days, I do not need to wear them at all and I am optimistic that I may be able to leave them behind on my next round of golf too (in the knowledge that the braces always go with me in the car boot, just in case).

So, many thanks for an excellent pair of Unloader 1 braces which have been most effective and undoubtedly worthwhile. Current plans include motorhome tours of Arran, Kintyre and Islay in June (walking, cycling and golf), the Edinburgh Tattoo and my step-daughter’s wedding in Glasgow in August. September is earmarked for a motorhome tour of Northern Spain, with a week in the Lake District in October. I can now confidently enjoy the great outdoors again, even if Munro bagging is off the agenda.

The benefits of wearing a knee brace for skiing

Skiing Knee Brace Benefits

Skiing is a great sport enjoyed by many people, however like any enjoyable experience, there are precautions worth considering. Safety measures that ensure you enjoy the slopes your whole life through. Here we discuss the benefits of knee braces for skiing.
Knee braces for skiing are fast becoming an essential piece of kit to take to the slopes. Every jump and twist on the snow impacts, pressurises and strains your knee joints which can lead to long-term injuries or discomforts. Knee braces for skiing relieve you of that worry and pain by offering support around the 4 crucial ligaments in use while skiing (Anterior Cruciate, Posterior Cruciate, Lateral Collateral and Medial Collateral Ligaments).
Is it really worth investing in knee braces for skiing? Surely not everybody is affected?
The truth is that a pair of knee braces will keep you on the slopes for longer, for a smoother experience and with a significantly reduced risk of injury. The reason why is simple: skiing involves abnormal knee joint and ligament movements. A skier’s feet are locked inside their boots leaving the knees to do all the work, something that they aren’t used to in everyday life.
This is nothing to worry about! However it might be worth considering the benefits of knee braces to ensure a care-free trip. Prevention is better than cure.
Of course as well as offering added stability for a smoother ski experience, knee braces can help those already nursing an injury. Whether you have undergone major Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery or are nursing a sprain, a knee brace offers you the relief and support to continue skiing whilst protecting the injury.
It is not advised to hit the slopes on a weakened or damaged knee joint and therefore a supportive brace is an addition that both orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists regularly recommend.
Another point to consider is the unpredictability of a day (or night) on the slopes. A recent survey listed a score of different ways to sustain a minor or major knee injury. These ranged from the frequent tumbles experienced by beginners to the hard-hitting landings of an Olympic professional. Whatever the case, the recurring theme was that the cause of injury was far too unpredictable to quantify. Causes included bad technique, repeated movement, uneven terrain, simple exhaustion or lack of care at the start or end of the day. The chances of avoiding every cause every time is too low to rely on.
The overwhelming assumption is that a knee brace is worth wearing on the slopes. Like wearing a seat belt when driving, or crash helmet on a motorbike, the day may never come when you need it but it is protection worth having, just in case.
So next time you’re planning your trip to the Alps or Aspen, consider investing in some knee braces for a smoother, more pleasurable skiing experience.

Knee Bracing for Different Types of Injury and Knee Wear

The knee is a joint that carries all of our weight at the stance phase of walking and is a joint that is vital to all mobility. The knee is a robust joint but, under extremes a certain fragility to some of the structures and there are common injuries that can happen to the knee. Thankfully, depending upon the injury, these problems can be overcome by bracing the knee. Alongside or instead of surgery, the options that people can take are dependent on the level and extent of injusry and resultant disability. For sports people or those whose work involves high levels of activity, surgery is a preferred option and they along with those whose career does not depend upon having a ‘perfect’ knee joint, a brace will help support the knee.
There are four ligaments that hold knee joint together by linking the thigh bone (femur) to the other two bones in the lower leg, the shin bone (tibia) and its smaller neighbour, the fibula. These ligaments are:
• Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
• Posterior Cruciate ligament (PCL)
• Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
• Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
Of these, the most common ligament to be injured is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Injury is more common in women than men, and it is estimated that 10,000 people in the U.K. suffer this injury every year. The CTi® Custom Knee Brace is the gold standard brace, endorsed by leading surgeons and experts in knee rehabilitation. It is designed to support damage sustained to all the ligaments above, plus rotation and instability issues. It is used by professional sports people, and is made to measure.
For Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the CTi® OTS brace will support the knee under all activities. It is usual to provide the ProSport version of the CTI OTS to give the additional strength and control needed in high energy sports. With both of these braces, professional assessment and fitting is required to ensure the correct level of control is given.
The oter main condition that affects the knee is osteoarthritis. This is a wear and tear injury and usually occurs on one side of the knee initially. This is called uni-compartment knee osteoarthritis. Össur’s Unloader® One brace is designed to reduce the load on the affected area of the knee , reducing pain, extending endurance and reducing the continual wear on the knee as the person walks. It is designed for people who have mild to severe osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, tibial plateau fracture, articular cartilage and meniscal cartilage repair, and is available for people of all sizes. A new high load brace is available for those who are overweight and need to return to activity to improve their weight control. For an unusual leg shape, the Unloader® One Custom, a made to measure brace, is available. For both of these knee braces, professional assessment and fitting is necessary.
For less severe knee conditions, such as inflammation of the joint, mild osteoarthritis, meniscal tears, and mild sprains and instabilities of the MCL and LCL,and post surgery, the brace of choice is the Gladiator BioSkin® Front Closure or the BioSkin® Gladiator Sport. These are both adjustable by the wearer and once assessed and fitted will enable return to normal activity in a reduced time.
Ligaments and articular cartilage healing can take a long time, and it is so easy to do further damage it before it is fully restored. It is therefore, vital to consider using the correct knee brace to support the joint to aid healing and prevent further injury.

Technology in Motion’s team of Orthotists are expert in managing all types of knee problem and have the braces to control and support, whatever the injury.

Tips to Help you Recover From a Skiing Injury

Skiing is a wonderful winter sport; not only do you get a chance to get out in the fresh air and beautiful scenery, it’s fantastic exercise. But unfortunately, skiing is commonly associated with injuries, especially to the knees. If you have been waylaid by a skiing injury, you can take charge of your treatment. Being proactive in your treatment will help you heal faster, getting you back on the slopes earlier. After getting the OK from your surgeon, here are some tips to help you recover from a skiing injury:

Rehabilitation

Depending on the extent of your injury, you may need to visit a Physiotherapist for rehabilitation. Your therapist will work with you not only to help your current injury heal, but also to strengthen the injured area to prevent future injuries. Follow your therapist’s instructions to the letter and be sure to practice the strengthening and range of motion exercises you will be prescribed.
Wear a knee brace

Wearing a knee brace, such as a CTI Prosport during your recovery process will help you heal faster. If your skiing injury involved damage to the ligaments in the knee, wearing a brace will stabilise your knee and prevent re-injury during the healing process. Why is a knee brace so important? Braces prevent lateral and twisting movements in the knee, especially important in ACL and other ligament ruptures and injuries to the meniscus. At the same time, they still allow for smooth, controlled bending and extending movement so that the joint doesn’t stiffen up, inhibiting healing. The best kind of knee brace for a skiing injury is one that provides a high level of protection, such as rigid framed, hinged styles. Your Orthotist or Physiotherapist can help recommend one that is right for your specific injury.

Other Tips for Recovery

- Warm and cold therapy can help loosen up the ligaments and tendons to ease pain. The heat will allow improved blood supply and alternated with cold therapy to squeeze out swelling and dead tissue cells, will improve your range of motion and also prevent the injury from stiffening up.
- Eating a healthy diet with proper nutrition is very important when you have had any kind of injury. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to repair itself and those in food are much more readily available than those in tablet or capsule form. Include plenty of calcium and iron-rich foods, such as low-fat dairy products, lean meats and greens such as spinach.
- To heal properly, your body also requires plenty of sleep. Working too hard and stressing yourself out will only lengthen your healing time. Get your full eight hours of sleep every night and take it easier during the day. You might find that raising your leg onto a pillow will help swelling to reduce.
- Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualisation and even yoga can be quite effective in speeding up healing. They are also very effective for helping to deal with the pain that accompanies these types of injuries.
- Talk to your Orthotist or Physiotherapist about supplements like selenium and chondroitin and whether any of them would be appropriate for you. Don’t add supplements to your diet without checking with your doctor first as some supplements can interact with prescription medications.
- Take prescribed medications as directed. They may be preventing swelling, which inhibits healing and will also reduce pain so that you can move easier and work through your rehab exercises.

Technology in Motion treat clients with ACL ruptures and repairs who have an unstable knee or need to protect it during sport in several clinics across the UK. Please visit their website for more information.