Hinged Knee Braces
Whilst providing the highest level of support, these braces also allow a very good range of motion. Most also have a hyperextension stop, meaning the knee cannot be straightened past 0 degrees (or hyperextended).
If you need to limit the range of motion (for example following surgery for certain injuries) this can be achieved with a brace that has a pin-stop mechanism. These work by using small pins on the hinge, which can be adjusted to vary the amount of flexion or extension permitted.
Stabilized Knee Supports
Where a hinged brace may be too bulky, or prohibited due to exposed metal parts, a stabilized brace makes an excellent alternative. Despite metal stays or springs, these braces do allow a good range of motion at the knee, suitable for most sports and activities.
Patella Stabilizing Knee Supports
The support will have a thick circular, horseshoe or J shaped buttress or padding around the patella to support and hold it in place. These braces can be either stabilized (with metal stays or springs), hinged or simple neoprene supports.
Simple Neoprene Knee Supports
These will provide mild or moderate support. They are made of neoprene which is excellent for retaining heat. Use this type of support for low level protection as well as warmth and compression. This is important for example for tendon injuries, especially where the knee will be subjected to repetitive strain over a period of time such as hill walking.