A knee stabilizer will provide a degree of lateral knee support, although not as much as you would get from a hinged knee brace. They usually provide this support by way of springs or plastic stays running down either side of the brace. If you have suffered a mild knee sprain and are in need of a moderate amount of support for your knee ligaments to help them fully recover, this type of knee brace design may be the one for you.
A knee stabilizer is also, in general, a little more comfortable to wear than a hinged knee brace. They are also generally lighter and more suitable for use when working out or playing a sport (especially one that requires plenty of running, jumping, etc). They will generally pose less interference with your movement.
Another advantage of wearing a knee stabilizer is that they tend to be lower profile than hinged braces, so you can more easily wear them under regular clothing while enjoying a moderate amount of lateral knee support. So even if you are not an active athlete, a stabilizer can protect your knee and help it to fully recover from a previous ligament injury.
When Is A Knee Stabilizer Not A Good Choice?
Having stated the above advantages, knee stabilizers are not suitable for treating severe ligament injuries or use during post op rehabilitation from knee surgery. For those types of injuries, you are generally better off using a brace with stronger support, such as a hinged knee brace (and preferably one with rigid rather than soft hinges).
Another critical point to understand is that a knee stabilizer also will not provide protection against knee hyperextension, as would a hinged brace.
Hybrid Knee Stabilizers
The remarks above apply to a knee brace that can be categorized as a “pure” knee stabilizer. However, you should note that many (if not most) of the knee stabilizers you will encounter in the market also have features to counter problems besides moderate knee instability. For example, some will include features of a patella stabilizer or will also be able to apply therapeutic compression as would a knee sleeve.
This is only to be expected, as many individuals suffer from more than one type of knee problem. They will obviously welcome the opportunity to try a brace that can address their multiple problems simultaneously rather than having to think about separate solutions for each problem.
If You Have Any Questions…
If you have any questions about the knee braces shown in this section, please ask and our customer service team will be glad to help. For questions about any knee injuries you may have, we would suggest consulting your healthcare advisor.
Please note that you can leave knee stabilizer questions in the Customer Questions & Answers section of each product page. We are notified immediately of any questions you leave there an will try to respond within one business day. You can opt to have answers sent to you by email, if you prefer.