Knee Orthoses Provide Non-Invasive Treatment Option for Knee Pain

Posted by Anatomical Concepts on Aug 25, 2022 10:36:18 AM


Knee pain affects millions of people worldwide every day. Whether your patient sustained some injury to their knee joint or is experiencing chronic pain because of regular wear and tear, a bum knee can significantly affect their overall quality of life. Here are a few statistics concerning knee pain: 

  • About 100 million Americans have chronic pain 
  • Knee pain is the second most common cause of pain 
  • Roughly one-third of all Americans say they have experienced knee pain 
  • Knee pain can be caused by too much weight on the knee joint 
  • Between 15 and 20% of men are afflicted with knee pain; 20% of women 


Common Causes of Knee Pain 

There are many causes of knee pain ranging from diseases and conditions like osteoporosis to inflammation and injury to the soft tissue. Depending on the severity, knee pain may restrict movement, affect muscle control, reduce strength, and prevent mobility.  

Knee injuries can happen in athletics, recreational activities, slips, falls, auto accidents, or other accidents. Tears to knee ligaments or cartilage are common and can take significant time to heal if not adequately treated. Here is a look at a few of the most common causes of knee pain: 

  • Ligament strains and sprains or tears (also cartilage tears and degrading) 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Overuse 
  • Fractures around the knee 
  • Gout 
  • Obesity 
  • Normal wear and tear 


Knee Pain Treatment Options  

When considering treatment options for your patients, you have many options. Some of these tactics are more invasive, and your patients may want to provide input on the course of action.  

Especially for those patients hoping to avoid surgery, we work closely with physicians to provide non-invasive alternatives to supplement their treatment plans.  

Many non-surgical treatments can be used individually or in combination to reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve quality of life. Let's discuss some of these options, including using assistive devices like knee orthoses.  


Physical Therapy 

Working with a physical therapist can help reduce knee pain. Some people overcompensate with their knees when doing activities like standing up from a chair or walking up or down stairs. Also, if muscles in the hips, back, or core are weak, the knees often bear a disproportionate share of the load.  

Using therapy to improve the function of all muscles and joints in the legs can reduce this unwanted strain on the knees. Physical therapists will evaluate how your patient walks and moves to optimize function and avoid excessive stress. Working with a physical therapist also benefits the rest of the body. 


Corticosteroid injections or cortisone injections into the knee joint can provide short-term pain relief in knee arthritis. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication that reduces acute aggravation in the joint. But it does not reverse or restore damaged cartilage and is less effective for chronic daily pain or more advanced forms of arthritis. 


Activity Modification 

Modifying or limiting activity can also help reduce strain on the knees. The knees experience the most pressure with activities like going up and down stairs, climbing ladders, or squatting down. If certain activities or exercises cause knee pain to flare up, finding alternative ways to perform these activities can help reduce the frequency of knee pain.  


Anti-Inflammatory Medications 

Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the knee when the bones rub against each other because of eroded cartilage. Reducing the inflammation of the tissue in the knee can provide temporary pain relief and delay knee surgery. 

Anti-inflammatory medications may decrease swelling in the joint. New medicines called Cox-2 inhibitors may also be used to reduce inflammation and pain temporarily. 


Assistive Devices 

A knee brace is one tool you can recommend in helping your patient manage knee osteoarthritis and pain discomfort. A brace or orthosis may help reduce pain by shifting your patient's weight off the most damaged portion of their knee. Wearing a brace can improve their ability to move around comfortably. 

ACI manufactures a variety of knee orthoses physicians can recommend to their patients suffering from knee pain. Let's learn about two of them. 


Pentagon® Orthosis 

The Pentagon® Orthosis is a unique posterior fitting, single-jointed upright knee orthosis that provides another patient-friendly alternative to the traditional bulky double upright hinged knee orthoses configurations.  

It is the only system that allows the calf and thigh segments to dynamically shorten and lengthen with the patient's extremity during flexion and extension of the knee. This allows for accurate tracking of the normal anatomical knee center alignment for maximum stability, which also helps reduce unwanted skin friction to increase patient comfort and compliance. 

This system design also allows for a simplified fitting of the knee orthosis that helps address many different rehabilitative needs for sagittal plane stabilization. The Pentagon® Orthosis design can address five different mechanical knee functions (Free Motion, Drop Lock, Variable ROM, Ratchet Lock, and Lock Out). 



  • Patient-friendly (no medial/lateral joints or uprights)  
  • Single posterior upright allows for a simplified fitting  
  • Pentagon® is available in Adult standard #1150 and Pediatric standard #1050 



  • Post-operative immobilization  
  • Neurological injuries (CVA/stroke) gait stabilizer  
  • Fracture management  
  • Emergent lower limb immobilization  
  • Musculoskeletal injuries  
  • BKA (Below the Knee Amputation) ROM regulation  
  • Post Botox or serial cast management  
  • TKA (Total Knee Arthroplasty)  
  • Contracture management 


V-VAS™ Knee Orthosis 

The V-VAS™ Orthosis is a one-of-a-kind offloading/realigning brace that helps to achieve optimal varum or valgum stress without bulky or complex adjustments. Its unique polycentric adjustable hinge design creates an ideal bending moment that results in the precise offloading/realigning experience.  

It is the first long axis offloading, closed dynamic frame custom knee orthosis that doesn't need to be removed to adjust offloading. The mechanical axis is always non-binding and auto-aligning. 



  • Up to 30 degrees of Varum or Valgum Adjustable Stress  
  • Long axis offloading, closed dynamic frame  
  • Up to 30 degrees of adjustment to optimize offloading tolerance  
  • Adjustments to the Femoral and Tibial sections while the mechanical axis stays non-binding and auto aligning  
  • Creates bending moment to offload affected compartment without straps or pads  
  • Simple Adjustability while on patient's extremity  



  • Limits the need for pain and anti-inflammatory medications  
  • Complements Hyaluronic and steroid injections by diminishing compressive forces  
  • Allows the patient to reap the benefits of improved physical activity  
  • Complements physical therapy by reducing pain during weight-bearing activities  
  • Adjustable while on patient's extremity  
  • Alternative to surgical intervention*  
  • New alternative to traditional designs for optimal outcomes** 



  • Osteoarthritis (OA) 
  • Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)  
  • Genu Varum (Bowleg)  
  • Genu Valgum (Knock Knee)  
  • Knee buckling from pain or musculature impairment  
  • Gross medial-lateral instabilities 

Treating knee pain doesn't have to include surgery. Plenty of non-surgical treatment options can delay or eliminate knee surgery by providing relief. To learn more about all our knee orthoses, click here.