Chapter 8

Bracing for Osteoarthritis

J. Beaudreuil

Abstract

Bracing for osteoarthritis (OA) involves the use of splints, tape, sleeves, and unloading knee braces. It is part of recommended non-pharmacological treatment for osteoarthritis of the thumb base and knee. Randomized clinical trials back these recommendations. Evidence that splints improve pain and disability in patients with thumb base OA is now provided. Weaker evidence appears for knee bracing including taping, sleeves and unloading braces. Low rate of adherence and safety issues should also be considered before using current unloading knee braces for knee OA. If bracing is to be used, a health professional should check to ensure the suitability of the device and provide patient education. Patient education includes knowledge of the aims of treatment, and encouragement to contact the therapist if they feel that the splint needs adjustment, or if they have any side effect or questions.

Total Pages: 94-102 (9)

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