A patella stabilizer knee brace has design features that are intended to target patella instability. These features will stabilize the patella and keep it securely in the trochlear groove. Some patella stabilizers, for example, come with a donut shaped buttress that fits around the patella. The buttress controls the movement of your patella as you bend or straighten your leg. It ensures that it rides securely in the trochlear groove and thus helps minimize swelling and pain.
Patella instability often manifests itself in the form of patella dislocations (in which the kneecap completely pops out of the trochlear groove). Alternatively, if you suffer from patella instability you may experience partial dislocation of the patella from the trochlear (known as subluxation). If your doctor determines that your patella instability is not due to ongoing knee damage, he or she may prescribe rest and wearing a patella stabilizer knee brace.
If there is internal knee damage that is contributing to patella instability, surgery may also have to be performed to correct this internal damage. Surgery may also be required to the return (reduce) the kneecap to its proper position if it does not do this on its own.
A patella stabilizer knee brace is sometimes also known simply as a patella brace.
As with all knee braces, you can buy a patella stabilizer with either a wrap around or pull on closure style. In addition, some may include features intended to stabilize the knee joint itself, such as hinges for example. These braces have features that are intended to address many other conditions besides patella instability.