Is there a difference in outcome between two types of valgus unloading braces? A randomized controlled trial

nienke van egmond


Purpose  The short-term clinical and radiographic outcomes of two different valgus unloading braces were compared in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis (OA) and a varus leg alignment.

Methods A RCT was performed in 100 patients (50 Bledsoe Thruster brace, 50 SofTec OA brace) with symptomatic medial knee OA and a varus leg alignment. Outcomes were the visual analogue scale pain and satisfaction, Dutch Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, SF-12, 6-Minutes Walking Test, hip-knee-ankle alignment, analgesic use, complications and compliance after a follow-up of 2 and 12 weeks.

Results The clinical and radiographic outcomes were not significant different between both groups. Almost all clinical outcomes improved in both groups at follow-up compared to baseline. 24% of the patients discontinued using the brace.

Conclusions  No significant differences in clinical and radiographic outcomes were found between both groups after 2 and 12 weeks follow-up. Both braces were effective in the treatment of varus medial knee OA. Complications and compliance remains a problem.


valgus unloading brace, osteoarthritis, knee, RCT


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