Bracing for Osteoarthritis
Pp. 94-102 (9)
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.
Brace, tape, insole, splints, osteoarthritis.