Measuring Techniques for a Knee Brace

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  • Post last modified:October 6, 2023

Step One: Obtain the Correct Materials for the Task

Everyone requires occasional assistance when it comes to maintaining proper physical fitness, particularly when it involves our knees. Whether you possess an old sports-related injury that you wish to prevent from resurfacing or you are in the process of recovering from recent surgery, one of the most effective methods of safeguarding your knee is by utilizing a knee brace. However, how can you determine the appropriate size for a knee brace?

If you are curious about the complete procedure of measuring for a knee brace, do not fret; you have arrived at the appropriate location. In truth, we possess the definitive knee brace sizing guide below. Here, you will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals: the necessary tools for measuring the dimensions of your knee and leg, the specific locations and methods for measuring those dimensions, and how to use those measurements to select the suitable brace for your needs. Let us commence!


Step One: Acquire the Appropriate Instruments for the Task

In order to procure the finest-fitting knee brace and guarantee the security and protection of your knee during your daily activities, recreational pursuits, or healing process, you must ensure that you obtain the most accurate measurements of your body. However, due to the unique contours of our bodies, it is impractical to employ a ruler. Thankfully, a flexible tape measure (also known as a tailor’s measuring tape) will serve the purpose sufficiently.

However, if you lack a flexible tape measure, there is no need to rush out and purchase one. There are alternative methods that you can employ. Anything of adequate length, such as a piece of rope, an extension cord, or even a smartphone charging cable, can be utilized, as long as you subsequently measure it against a straight ruler or a conventional tape measure. Merely ensure that you obtain the most precise measurement possible!

Step Two: The Procedure and Locations for Measuring Your Leg and Knee


Merely possessing the appropriate instruments for measuring the dimensions of your leg and knee will not be beneficial unless you are aware of which measurements to take. In this instance, you will require some highly specific dimensions to assist you in selecting an adequately sized brace. These dimensions include the circumference of your thigh and the circumference of your calf, both measured at a distance of approximately six inches from the center of your kneecap. As you measure, ensure that the flexible measuring tape (or whichever tool you are utilizing) is in close contact with your skin to obtain an accurate reading. Additionally, since most knee brace manufacturers employ inches for sizing, refrain from utilizing centimeters when noting down your calf and thigh circumference.

There are a few additional points you should consider during the measuring process: if you are presently experiencing inflammation and swelling in your leg or knee joint, endeavor to reduce the swelling before measuring in order to enhance your chances of obtaining an accurate measurement. Moreover, if bending your knee for the measuring process is painful, you can obtain an accurate measurement with a straight leg by assuming a standing position with the assistance of a friend or family member or by sitting down with your leg extended in front of you and your heel resting on the floor.

Finally, as some knee supports take into account the width of your kneecap, measuring the perimeter of your knee itself is a beneficial measurement you should consider taking as well. Make sure to measure from the very center of your kneecap, passing through the widest point, for the most accurate measurements. This can be accomplished either with a bent knee or a straight one, depending on your comfort level. Again, ensure that your knee itself isn’t swollen or inflamed so you don’t end up with an oversized measurement.

Taking Those Measurements and Choosing the Appropriate Knee Support

Knee supports need to fit snugly in order to provide the optimal support for your knee joint, and that means you need to have a tight fit. This means that not only do you need to take the most accurate measurements possible, but you also need to then take those measurements and use them to choose a knee support of the suitable size. Selecting one that’s too big won’t provide you the support you need, while choosing one that’s too small could be too restrictive and possibly cause even more injury or make your recovery time even longer.

Selecting the appropriate size knee support isn’t always as easy as selecting one that matches your exact measurements, though. Unlike shoes, for example, there’s no set standard that’s used for knee support sizing. Instead, most companies make their supports available in size categories. Even these categories can differ, but they usually shake down into small, medium, large, and extra-large or something similar. Each of these categories is meant to accommodate a range of thigh and calf sizes in inches (and knee sizes, where applicable).

Again, each manufacturer will use a slightly different range. You may be a Medium according to one knee support maker, but you might end up being sized as a Small or a Large by another manufacturer. It’s helpful to keep in mind that your knee support needs to be snug but not too tight, so it’s often recommended to choose the smaller size if you fall in between two of them unless the manufacturer says otherwise.

Other Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Knee Supports

Finding a support that fits your knee correctly is always your first priority when it comes to choosing knee supports. At the same time, there are more than a few other things to keep in mind when you’re selecting a knee support, simply because there are so many different types of supports out there on the market that work in similar but sometimes significantly different ways. Understanding these differences is crucial for choosing a support that will provide your knee joint the strength and flexibility it needs to function safely or heal properly.

You will need to make a decision regarding the type of knee support you need. More simple supports, such as knee sleeves, offer minor protection but are usually the easiest to take on and off, for example, and they do provide good compression. More complex supports, such as those that wrap around your knee at the top and the bottom, often feature better protection and more support, but are certainly overkill if you just have a very minor injury or only require modest protection.

There are even more complex supports as well. These include knee straps for those suffering from runner’s knee, hinged knee supports for those that need serious support following an injury or surgery, or those that provide lifting assistance through the use of high-strength springs. Many of these supports will protect the kneecap from injury; others will leave it bare to provide a better range of movement. Choosing the one that’s best for you is often a combination of personal preference coupled with what your doctor or physical therapist recommends as most appropriate for your injury.

The Ultimate Guide to Measuring for a Knee Brace

At first glance, it may appear that selecting a knee brace is as effortless as clicking your mouse. In many respects, that’s completely accurate — it’s now simpler than ever to pick a brace online and have it sent directly to your doorstep. Nevertheless, you must exercise caution when choosing the type of brace you’re purchasing and ensure that you’ve chosen one that will properly fit your leg and provide the necessary support for your knee.

This is precisely why it’s crucial to measure your leg for a knee brace with great care and precision. You must utilize the appropriate tools for the task and measure the proper areas of your leg — your calf, your thigh, and even the widest part of your knee itself — to obtain these measurements. Subsequently, you must choose a brace that closely aligns with these measurements. Additionally, you must ensure that the style and design of the brace you’re purchasing will furnish you with the adequate level of protection you require, without going overboard!

That’s why it’s vital to seek guidance from a professional if you have any uncertainties about the type of brace you should utilize or how to select the correct size. A medical professional will always be your best source of information. If you’re working with an orthopedist or a sports medicine specialist, or if you’re engaged in physical therapy to recover from a knee injury in collaboration with a qualified physical or occupational therapist, rely on their knowledgeable advice to assist you in making your final choice.

Keep in mind: whether you wish to safeguard your knee from injury or provide it with the necessary support to heal after surgery, a knee brace of the proper size and type is one of the most effective methods to do so. Choose wisely, and you’ll be in excellent condition!