Tested: DonJoy Cartilage Knee Brace
When I couldn’t get rid of my knee pain when cycling (long story,) the first thing I tried was a knee brace. They’re relatively inexpensive and I’ve had braces help my wrists, ankles, and shoulders in the past, so it was a logical first step.
I chose a DonJoy Cartilage Comfort Knee Brace for two reasons:
1. It looked like it would provide support without ruining my mobility.
2. It was the cheapest option when it came to the higher-end knee braces.
How cheap? Only $35 from JointHealing.com.
The brace is made of cotton, uses a horseshoe-shaped foam pad for anterior knee compression, and offers medial and lateral support. I’m not sure what the side supports are made of – possibly a thin metal – but they are flexible and don’t hinder my movement.
I don’t have any patella tracking issues, but I still like the foam pad on the front to be extra sure my knee cap is staying in place.
I ordered a size medium (size chosen based on Donjoy’s recommendations, not the JointHealing.com chart) and it fits me well. It is nice and tight, but still comfortable. If I had gone with a size large, it would have been a little loose, rather than tight and supportive.
Now let’s quickly run through what I like and don’t like about this brace:
What I Like About The Donjoy Comfort Knee Brace
I liked quite a few things about this knee brace:
- Comfort. This brace is actually more comfortable than the more expensive ones with adjustment straps.
- Mobility. It doesn’t interfere with running or any normal movements.
- Lateral support. It has good lateral support thanks to the metal bracing. Braces without this side support left my knee feeling unstable.
- Patella support. It has a pad around patella, which makes it feel secure and makes certain your knee cap stays where it should.
- Price. It costs just $35 at JointHealing.com. It is well worth it, considering how it helps.
What I Don’t Like About The Donjoy Comfort Knee Brace
There are only a few minor things I don’t like about this brace.
- It gets dirty. Since it’s white, if it gets dirty at all, you really notice it.
- Cotton. Unfortunately the cotton material isn’t as nice as Drytex or a similar neoprene-like fabric. It gets wet and stays wet, so it’s not fun in the rain or when sweating.
- The seams. Unfortunately the bottom and top seams cut into my legs and leave fairly deep indents if I wear the brace for a few hours.
Let me talk about the seams a bit more…
While I like how the brace always stays in place, the top and bottom seams are extra tight. If I wear the brace for a couple hours, I have deep indents in my leg where the seams were.
I’ve tried other Donjoy knee braces in size large (and they were huge,) so I worry a size large in this brace wouldn’t be tight enough on the knee itself. I don’t want to give up the good knee support to get looser seams!
The problem for me is I’m not a naturally big person, but I have relatively large leg muscles considering my athletic background. So my quads and calves are big, but my knee itself is small. so a brace that fits my muscles isn’t tight enough on my knee.
Luckily, the brace never cut off my circulation or anything, so it’s not a huge deal. I just don’t wear the brace for more than a couple hours at a time, and I don’t wear it in situations where my knee will be bent a lot (i.e. a motorcycle ride.)
My final verdict is…
This is a great knee brace at a great price. It’s comfortable and offers good mobility, with just enough support. It’s not bulky like the other braces I tried. If you have minor knee instability from a torn meniscus or chondromalacia patella, try this out.
Official website: www.DonJoy.com
Buy online: www.BetterBraces.com
Product: DonJoy Cartilage Knee Brace
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: out of 5
Date last updated: 2011-05-11
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.
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