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Custom Made or Off The Shelf Knee Braces – Which One is Better?

This question is no stranger to us. There has been an on-going debate for years now about whether or not custom made knee braces are better than off the shelf knee braces and vice versa. At Niagara Prosthetics and Orthotics, we believe that there are two sides to every debate. Today we are going to explore both options to see which one is the “best” or the best for you!

Off The Shelf (OTS) Knee Braces

These braces are pre-made, ranging from sizes small to large and sometimes, extra large. Often times, OTS knee braces are recommended by professionals only when they feel their patient is experiencing less severe injuries. Because OTS knee braces are friendlier in cost, professionals may also recommend it to clients who want to take the economical route. What are the key advantages to off the shelf knee braces?

  1. Cost effective
  2. Quick fitting
  3. Ideal for less severe injuries
  4. Ideal for temporary use

Custom Made Knee Braces

With technology always progressing, there are numerous ways to make custom knee braces – for example: the traditional route would include casts and measurement systems, while the more advanced method would require a smartphone app! Each method has there pros and cons but if done correctly, a well-fitted, custom made knee brace should be the outcome. What are the key advantages to custom made knee braces?

  1. Exact custom fit
  2. The ability to customize if needed (ie. length, alignment, etc.)
  3. Ideal for more severe injuries
  4. Ideal for longer term use
  5. Better warranties available

Since each knee brace type offers different perks, it is hard to really pick which one is better than the other. They are both great options but for different reasons and for different situations. They almost shouldn’t be compared because of that! If you are deciding between an off the shelf knee brace or a custom made knee brace, we suggest you reach out to a professional! A professional will be able to tell you which one is better for your specific situation. For more information on knee braces and options we offer, reach out to us! We’re only an email or phone call away.

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