Knee Brace Selection Guide - pick the best knee brace --

Welcome to our Knee Brace Selection Guide. This guide is designed to help you manage through some of the many options we have at You can also vist our knee brace page to see all of our knee support options.
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For the best possible stability and protection after an ACL reconstruction, go with our DonJoy eXtreme or DonJoy Legend knee brace. They are designed for high performance athletes. These state of the art knee braces are equal to any custom brace we've seen. Also, if you need a waterproof knee brace, this is it.

For excellent stability control in a more affordable knee brace, try the DonJoy Playmaker. It is also designed for contact sports. If speed is an issue, however, you are better off with the DonJoy eXtreme or DonJoy Legend.
For milder protection (if you have a very stable knee after reconstruction) and to remind you that you have had an injured knee, our DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace is an excellent choice and is quite economical.
If you have not had your knee reconstructed:
If your instability is mild, then a knee brace such as the DonJoy Drytex Hinged or DonJoy Playmaker knee brace will do just fine.
If you have more severe instability, consider either the DonJoy eXtreme, DonJoy Legend or DonJoy Playmaker. Select between the two based on how much instability you have (DonJoy eXtreme provides the ultimate stability, DonJoy Legend provides good-excellent stability, DonJoy Playmaker provides very good stability), how much you are willing to play (DonJoy Playmaker is much cheaper than DonJoy Legend), and whether you speed is an issue for you (Donjoy eXtreme is the lightest, DonJoy Legend is also light and low profile).
For new (acute) injuries, the DonJoy Playmaker is the best all-around knee brace. It is designed for ligament protection so that the ligament will heal. It is also designed for a speedy return to contact sports.
For mild injuries, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace will work well. It is very economical.
For severe instability, the DonJoy Legend is an excellent knee brace. It will help to control virtually every major form of knee instability.
For mild to moderate instability, the DonJoy Playmaker knee brace is the best choice for sports.
For severe instability, the DonJoy eXtreme, DonJoy Legend excel in providing joint stability for PCL tears. They are more low-profile than the DonJoy Playmaker, but more expensive.
If you have mild instability and want a knee brace to provide your knee support throughout the day, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace is an excellent option. You can wear it under clothing.

For most arthritis pain, the DonJoy Comfort knee brace will provide soothing relief, as well as decrease pain when you kneel.
Also consider the Bort GenuZip knee brace, which comes with a three year limited warranty.
If you have significant pain with side-to-side motions of your knee, or twisting, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged brace will give you more support and also help to relieve your pain.
Most chondromalacia patella is secondary to either weakness (in which case the Knee Therapy Kit would help), or lateral tracking of the patella. The brace used world-wide for lateral tracking is the DonJoy J knee brace.
The DonJoy Comfort knee brace is the best support for people with chondromalacia ("anterior knee pain", "patellofemoral syndrome"). It will provide gentle support and decrease the pain you experience with kneeling on your knee.
For a low profile knee brace that has a three year limited warranty, consider the Bort GenuZip knee brace.
If side-to-side support is needed (eg. twisting your knee causes pain), then the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace can help in this situation.
The DonJoy J knee brace is the standard brace usually prescribed for patellar instability. Also, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace provides medial/lateral support for your knee, which is important, because sometimes twisting or side bending motions of your knee can cause your kneecap to dislocate.

If you have not had surgery for the tear, and especially if you are trying to avoid surgery, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace is the best support for you. It provides compression which helps relieve pain, in addition to providing stability, which will help to prevent episodes of popping, clicking, locking, and giving way.
If you recently had surgery, or have an upcoming surgery, the DonJoy Comfort knee brace will help get you back to work or school faster. It provides just the right amount of compression to help minimize swelling, and help you recover sooner. In addition, many people report that kneeling is a problem after a knee arthroscopy procedure for several months. The DonJoy Comfort knee brace has a viscoelastic insert in the front to help cushion your knee when you kneel.
Most patients with bursitis or tendonitis will feel better with the DonJoy Comfort knee brace.
If twisting or side-to-side motions cause you pain, you will most likely benefit more from the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace.
Prevention of Injury for Sports:
For most sports, the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace will provide you the best balance of stability, yet lightweight durability so it doesn't slow you down. It provides support against medial/lateral/anterior/posterior stresses for most low-intensity situations.
If you are involved in a high energy sport with a significant risk for injury (for example, motocross), you may want to consider the DonJoy eXtreme knee brace. This is much stronger than the Drytex hinged brace and provides stability in all directions. In fact, many motocross racers swear by it or it's more expensive cousin, the DonJoy Defiance. Since we have not seen a difference in performance between the eXtreme and the Defiance, we cannot justify the extra $600+ for the Defiance, and hence do not offer it here.
Knee gives way/feels unstable:
This is usually due to an ACL tear or meniscus tear. If the giving way is mild, then the DonJoy Drytex Hinged knee brace is the best all-around brace for you. For more severe instability, consider the DonJoy Playmaker or the DonJoy Legend knee braces – these are specifically designed to correct serious knee instability.

This is almost always due to chondromalacia patella. Click here to see our brace recommendations for chondromalacia.
Visit our Knee Brace Category Page for all of our knee brace options.
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