Genu recurvatum is a deformity in the knee joint, where the knee bends backwards. Genu recurvatum is also called knee hyperextension. This deformity is more common in women and people with familial ligamentous laxity. Hyperextension of the knee may be mild, moderate or severe.
Before you buy a knee brace for hyperextension you must read this Blog
If left untreated, Genu Recurvatum will continue to put stresses on the knee, damage the surrounding soft-tissue structure of the knees, and result in increasing joint deformities. It may also lead to other conditions, such as Genu Valgum, Genu Varum, and Knee Osteoarthritis. The normal range of motion of your knee ranges from 0 to 135 degrees in an adult. Full knee extension should be no more than 10 degrees(slight hyperextension).
There are many reasons for your knee joint to hyperextend or move beyond that 10 degrees. Some are listed below.
* Inherent ligament laxity of knee
* Knee Trauma
* Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
* Connective Tissue Disorders
* Birth/Congenital Defect
* Diseases, such as, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Multiple Sclerosis
I want to concentrate on patients that suffer from Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and MS. These patients tend to have progressive and significant hyperextension in the knee, well beyond 10 degrees.
When you go online to do research, you will see many articles/blogs about the best hyperextension braces. I can unequivocally tell you from personal and professional experience that none of these braces will work for you.
These knee braces are good for "preventative purposes". Once your knee joint is hyperextending, and to the degree that many of you reading this blog are suffering from, these knee supports are doomed to failure. You will be wasting both time and money.
If you are hyperextending your knee 20-30 degrees or more, having a knee brace with hinges on the side will not keep your knee from going into Genu Recurvatum.
Even if you purchase an expensive rigid metal or carbon fiber brace, you knee will continue to go into hyperextension (with some improvement, but much pain in the thigh and lower leg).
So what is the answer?
The answer to the hyperextension question is difficult. One thing is known for sure. There must be a counter force directed forward to counter the hyperextension force of the knee or the knee brace is doomed to failure.
There are several companies that make such knee supports. Like anything, you will have to find the one the fits comfortably and can be worn for an extended period of time in the day.
Many years ago, the only knee brace that was available was something called the "Swedish Knee Cage". It sounded like a European torture device. In a way it was and still is to many people. If this knee brace does not fit correctly, it can be uncomfortable to wear.
Please take a look at the back of the brace behind the knee. There is a strap which is adjustable to the degree of forward force to place on the knee joint. On a positive note, the Swedish Knee Cage is very effective in preventing the knee from hyperextending.
There are several companies that manufacturer the Knee Cage with different variations, including OCSI and RCAI. The OCSI manufacturers a hyperextension brace called the Orthopro Hyper EX . The Orthopro EX is the most comfortable and adjustable knee brace for hyperextension and I recommend this knee brace very highly. Take a look at the features of this brace below.
One great feature of the Orthopro Hyperextension knee brace is the use of an inflatable bladder behind the knee. You can adjust the degree of forward force by adding more air, and is more comfortable that a padded strap.
The Orthopro Hyper EX is about 10 inches long allowing for unrestricted sitting and walking. The knee brace is extremely lightweight and comfortable and a great alternative to other Swedish Cage Knee designs.
According to the manufacture as the patient walks, the genu recurvatum moment is stopped at neutral and the knee will rebound off the air bladder to initiate flexion of the knee joint. Gait should be significantly improved. Adjust the amount of air in the air bladder to patient comfort and the amount hyperextension control required to optimize gait.
If you want to prevent a hyperextension injury, there are thousands of knee braces out there to choose from. Protecting the ACL/PCL and MCL/LCL ligaments are paramount in maintaining stability of the knee.
But if you are suffering from hyperextension due to MS, MD, CP, genetic laxity or a myriad of other medical and orthopedic conditions, the Orthopro Hyper EX is the best alternative, not only preventing hyperextension of the knee, but preventing a breakdown of the knee joint due to this abnormal but treatable movement.
If you have any questions about the Orthopro Hyper EX Knee Brace, please email us at email@example.com. The price on Amazon ranges from $120-200.00