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Types of Leg Braces

author image Richard Nilsen
Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.
Types of Leg Braces
This knee brace helps stabilize the knee after injury or surgery. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

There are many types of leg braces. The type needed depends upon whether it is to be used by someone who has undergone surgery or if there is a disability involved that impairs walking. Braces are designed to support the muscles and ligaments of the leg to allow freer walking and more strength to perform the actual walking. Supportive braces can be hard or soft depending on the needs of the person. Since pain is associated with surgical repairs, adding a disability as well, the brace needs to support the leg in such a way that it will decrease the amount of pain and increase the ability to walk.

Post-Operative Braces

Post-operative knee braces are worn immediately after a person leaves surgery. This brace protects the leg from any unneeded stretching or pulling and protects the leg in its healing process. This type of brace can immobilize the affected area, but also can be adjusted as healing takes place to allow more movement.

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Knee Braces

Knee braces are worn during regular daily activities and are prescribed by your doctor. These braces are worn to protect the knee from injury during running and other sports activities. They are prescribed for patients suffering from osteoarthritis and may be made of plastic, metal or elastic material, sometimes combing these materials. Since it may take time to get used to a knee brace, you may experience pain or a skin irritation during acclimation.

Ankle Braces

Solid ankle braces, full leg posterior leaf spring braces, short leg fixed braces, dorsiflexion assists short leg braces and energy return braces all are supportive bracing used for foot drop. Foot drop, which is a weak or limp foot, occurs when these problems are present: motor neuron disorders such as polio and also neurodegenerative disorders of the brain that cause problems related to muscle use such as stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.


Cold compression wraps help to decrease inflammation in the knee joint as well as supporting the knee's ligaments. While not technically braces, wraps can be used to reduce the inflammation, thus strengthening the knee for use. You can use wraps such as Ace bandages to give added support while walking.

Shin Brace Wraps

Shin brace compression wrap is used for medial and anterior tibia stress syndrome caused by weakening of the surrounding tissue of the tibia by day to day wear. This soft brace helps to stabilize the tibia and surrounding tissue. The shin brace aids in prevention of stress and additional tearing of soft tissue.

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