Hinged Knee Braces offer the most robust lateral knee support available. They will also allow the knee to have the most natural range of motion and will avoid hyperextension (i.e. sudden excessive straightening of the knee that can cause damage to the structures behind the joint).
Some hinged knee braces have “range of motion” hinges. These are hinges with adjustable range of motion and are especially useful when rehabilitating a knee from severe ligament injury. You may also consider them for rehabilitation during the post op period following surgery to repair serious ligament damage. You can gradually increase the range of motion permitted by the hinge as your knee heals. As your knee approaches the point of full recovery, the adjustable range of motion approaches its natural point. This is the range you would expect from a healthy knee. Adjusting the range of motion hinge in this way allows the healing of your knee to proceed without interruption due to prematurely over-stressing the damaged ligaments. tendons, etc.
For Which Injuries Is A Hinged Knee Brace The Best Choice?
If you need a knee brace with the greatest possible lateral support, you should definitely consider a hinged brace.
A hinged knee brace is most suited for those situations in which knee ligaments have been torn or ruptured. In this situation, the knee needs the greatest possible amount of lateral support to take the pressure off those ligaments. It is also the optimal choice for knee injuries associated with meniscus tears (unless these injuries are caused by knee osteoarthritis). These injuries require the maximum lateral support possible.
You should also consider using a hinged knee brace during post op rehabilitation when recovering from surgery to repair significant knee injuries.