Biomechanics Of Knee Osteoarthritis, And How An Osteoarthritic Knee Brace Corrects It

Comparison between a healthy knee, and osteoarthritic knee
Someone with a healthy knee joint vs. Someone with knee osteoarthritis

The most common form of knee osteoarthritis is the pain on the inner side of the knee (or the medial side). This is because most of us are slightly bow-legged. The video below is quite lengthy. However, you can see this knee inward bend from the video starting from the position 1m:40s.

Biomechanics of the Knee - Osteoarthritis (OA) with Professor Jim Richards

The reason why the knee bends inwards is due to a range of factors. This includes poor foot biomechanics, as well as tight buttock muscles (glutes) that rotate your hip outwards. From the video at 1m:55s onwards, the inner knee compartment (medial knee) has a lot less space between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). As a result of a process of wear-and-tear over time, the inner side of the knee joint’s cartilage or meniscus gets worn away. The result of this is knee osteoarthritis.

How Does An Osteoarthritic Knee Brace Work?

An osteoarthritic knee brace works to relieve knee osteoarthritis by shifting the knee. This is done by prying apart areas where the thigh bone and shin bone are touching and scraping against each other. (See the video at 4m:00). When they are ‘pried apart’, the two bones stop scraping against each other. This takes away the source of the pain.

In others, the knees lean inwards. This is known as ‘knocked knee’ (because the knees knock against each other). In this case, the pain is felt on the outer side of the knee (the lateral side). The knee osteoarthritis brace works in the other direction, along with the same principle of separating the two bones that are scraping against each other.

Experiencing knee pain? Click here to find out more about physiotherapy for knee pain relief and how Core Concepts can help