Basketball ranks as a high-impact sport, exerting loads of pressure and strain on the knees, often resulting in sores, aches, discomfort, and even injuries such as jumper’s knee or ACL, PCL, and MCL tears and inflammation. Left ignored, these tears and inflammation can escalate to permanent knee damage and what player wants to be out of action, not to mention the excruciating pain and discomfort and exorbitant medical expense.
However, it’s not all gloom and doom. You can minimize your chances of permanent knee damage by wearing knee braces as a precautionary measure. Knee braces provide enhanced stability, proprioception, and medical-grade compression to the knee area, minimizing movement and impact, thereby reducing aggravating the injury. It’s why professional players wear knee braces post-injury.
The question is, how can you identify a suitable knee brace from the vast array available in the market. To make it easier for you, we've curated a list of the best knee brace for basketball.
- Best brace for Meniscus tears
- Superior support with no restriction
- Has bound edges that prevent irritation
- Best brace for PCL tears
- Stabilizes the knee and prevents overextension
- Antimicrobial and airflo-vented tech reduces moisture, odor and bacteria
- Best for preventing knee dislocations
- Provides full-scale stability for troublesome knee joints
- Made of strong, aircraft-grade aluminum and Kraton-coated
- Best brace for treating and preventing knee instabilities
- Aids recovery from ligament and cartilage reconstruction
- 4-points-of-leverage system allows for knee hyperextension
- Best for ACL, MCL, PCL, and general knee support
- Has a Visco gel ring that surrounds your patella
- Recommended by Orthopedists
- Best brace for patellar tendonitis, chondromalacia and patellar subluxation
- Features spring steel stays and padded buttress
- Latex-free neoprene provides thermal/compression therapy
- Dedicated to the comfort and support of the patella tendon
- Constructed with 4 adjustable straps for superior comfort, a full range of motion, and 360 degrees of knee support
- True non-slip design
Best Knee Brace for Basketball 2021
We went through the internet and found the top seven knee braces for basketball players, so you don’t have to. Simply read on to find out about each one in detail.
The McDavid 429X knee brace is the perfect brace for Meniscus tears because it provides superior support with no restriction, assisting in recovery. It has compression elastic crossing straps for enhanced rotational and collateral ligament support. The geared side hinges increase stability while enabling free movement.
The Mc David 429X has top and bottom straps. You can adjust for a perfect fit, and latex-free neoprene provides thermal compression to keep your muscles warm, relieving pain and preventing injuries. It also features padded buttresses for increased support of the knee patella and comfortable bound edges, helping with moisture management to prevent blisters or any irritation.
- It's made from latex-free neoprene.
- It has elastic crossing straps.
- It has geared side hinges.
- It has bound edges that prevent irritation.
- Exceptionally thick, so can be heavy.
- Cost more than other braces.
What Recent Buyers Report
It's a well thought out and quality product. This brace is genuinely intended for an extreme application and is perfect for serious basketball. The brace performs well, and although somewhat expensive, you get what you pay for, and the McDavid 429X is worth every penny. It provides excellent support and is very helpful if you're having lateral movement issues like in basketball. The brace fits perfectly with no pinching and no biting.
The Shock Doctor maximum support knee brace is the best brace to wear for PCL tears because it stabilizes the knee and prevents overextension, boosting healing. Its bilateral dual hinges and tempered aluminum stays stabilize the knee joints and ligaments. The four-way stretch spandex mesh with lycra binding provides support while ensuring that movement is unrestricted. The spandex mesh ensures you stay cool while you play, which, together with the pre-curved anatomical design, ensures maximum comfort.
The Shock Doctor brace's antimicrobial and airflo-vented tech reduces moisture as well as odor and bacteria, making it suitable for play. The latex-free premium stitching and integrated, flexible side stabilizers make it stay in place. The easy-grip tabs enable accurate fitting.
- Premium stitching
- Lycra binding
- Fits either knee
- Costs more than most braces.
- Getting a size that fits can be challenging.
What Recent Buyers Report
It fits snugly and is comfortable to wear while allowing the knee to breathe. It offers support and keeps you from being in unbearable pain, and is the best brace for any knee problem. The relief it provides makes it worth the expense. The metal hinges running full-length on each side of the knee provide stability, making it an excellent brace for PCL and ACL tears and MCL sprain or tear. It gives support and confidence.
The DonJoy Legend SE-4 helps prevent knee dislocations and provides full-scale stability for troublesome knee joints, making it a great brace for someone with combined instability, ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL injuries. It has a low-profile design, contouring to the knee and providing a snug fit and all-over compression and is highly recommended for use in all contact sports and activities.
The DonJoy Legend SE-4 is made from strong aircraft-grade aluminum for enhanced stability and coated with Kraton, making it impossible for it to chip or rust. It features a patented 4-point dynamic leverage system technology that makes it suitable for preventing knee dislocations. Although strong, it has a strong, lightweight carbon composite frame suitable for both men and women.
- It’s made of strong, aircraft-grade aluminum and Kraton-coated.
- It’s designed with a patented 4-point dynamic leverage system technology.
- It’s lightweight.
- It has a low-profile design.
- Getting the right fit can be challenging.
- The sizes in the size chart appear to be smaller than the actual measurements.
What Recent Buyers Report
It's a robust and well-made brace that provides excellent stability. This brace provided excellent stability with all ligaments torn, enabling me to play again after severe ligaments injury. The DonJoy SE-47 is well worth the price tag and then some. When you measure as instructed and go by the chart size provided by DonJoy, you find it’s a smaller fit that pinches. Once you get it to fit right, it feels good with it because you can run and jump.
The DonJoy Armor is the best brace for treating and preventing knee instabilities and aiding recovery from ligament and cartilage reconstruction. The brace’s FourcePoint hinge technology combined with the 4-points-of-leverage system allows for knee hyperextension, correcting and preventing ACL, MCL, and LCL instabilities. It provides excellent stability and mobility, enabling speed, fluidity, and versatility, making it the best brace for basketball players.
The DonJoy Armour brace limits the amount of time the knee joint is in an unnatural, harmful position, lowering the risk of suffering a ligament tear. It’s made from a robust aircraft-grade aluminum frame making it strong, thick, and stable while at the same time lightweight, sleek, and low-profile.
- It has DonJoy’s proven 4-points-of-Leverage system.
- It utilizes patented FourcePoint hinge technology.
- It’s built with a strong aircraft-grade aluminum frame.
- It’s sleek and low-profile.
- It's not suited for short people.
- It's not recommended for PCL injuries.
What Recent Buyers Report
It's a great brace that makes a difference. It's impressive in the healing process; all the pain you experience goes away. It's easy to clean. It works well but is heavy. The brace is a miracle worker at getting you back to doing what you love (playing basketball) without risking re-injury after ACL reconstruction. It’s very durable.
The Bioskin Gladiator hinged brace is suitable for ACL, MCL, PCL, and general knee support. It’s no wonder orthopedists prescribe it as a recovery gear after arthroscopic knee procedures. The brace has a durable 15-inch range of motion hinge and rigid strapping system protecting damaged ligaments and limiting twisting and unwanted movements. Its wrap-around design makes it easy to wear and adjust.
You can easily set the hinge to control extension and flexion. It consists of a Visco gel ring that surrounds your patella area, easing knee joint pain and swelling. It features BioSkin’s thin, strong, and breathable material, which is hypoallergenic and latex-free.
- It combines a 15-inch range of motion hinge with a rigid strapping system.
- It has a Visco gel ring that surrounds your patella.
- It’s made of hypoallergenic and latex-free material.
- It consists of thin, strong, and breathable material.
- Can be bulky.
- Costs more than other braces.
What Recent Buyers Report
It’s sturdy and easy to use. It does help minimize knee pain. It works great and is easy to adjust for fit and comfort while providing a great deal of stability to the knee pre and post-surgery. It works, and is comfortable to continue wearing while you play after recovery.
The McDavid Knee Support with Stays is the best brace for patellar tendonitis because of its superior knee support, preventing further injury and promoting healing. It's a stylish brace that's easy to use, combining style, function, and flexibility. The spring steel stays and padded buttress reinforces support, and the elastic hook and loop Velcro straps ensure a perfect fit, enabling you to tighten as needed and increase support. The McDavid with Stays is made from a latex-free neoprene material providing thermal and compression therapy.
- Stylish and easy to use.
- It's made from latex-free neoprene material.
- Features spring steel stays and padded buttress.
- Has Velcro loop straps for adjusting.
- Getting the right size Is not easy.
What Recent Buyers Report
The top and bottom Velcro straps enable you to tighten as you wish. It’s a quality brace you can wear on bare skin and not get blisters. It’s a superior product that splendidly supports and protects the knee from strain and impact.
The Exodus Bodygear is your friendly-priced brace dedicated to the comfort and support of the patella tendon, with its two crossover straps above and below the patella. It’s also great for LCL, ACL, and preventing knee injuries. It’s built with a 4-way compression system providing compression from every angle for the best support. Its double flexible metal coils provide additional lateral and medial support to boost your confidence.
The Exodus Bodygear has a 0.5" gap behind the knee, allowing the knee to bend fully without restriction and preventing discomfort from excess bunching. It features four anchor points with crossover traction ensuring a non-slip fit and jacquard lycra for improved wearability with less skin irritation.
- Superior patella support.
- It has skin-friendly lycra lining.
- It has a 4-way compression system for compression.
- It promotes unrestricted movement.
- Requires extreme care when washing it.
What Recent Buyers Report
The brace is affordable. It provides security and comfort, especially with the lycra lining sleeve which prevents chafing skin. The brace offers fantastic lateral support and is excellent for patella pain and instability around the medial or lateral ligaments. The wraps kind of wrap themselves all-around your knee, giving incredible support, and each strap is adjustable, which helps with getting a perfect fit.
Why Basketball Players Use Knee Braces
As mentioned, basketball is a high-impact sport entailing strength, stamina, and endurance, exerting pressure, particularly on the knee joint. Post-injury, knee braces are used to increase knee stability and support as part of the recovery process and prevent an injury.
For this reason, it's imperative for a player to get the best knee braces for basketball while running, jumping, and heavy landing while playing, all of which make a player susceptible to some injuries common to basketball players. These injuries include:
- Torn Meniscus: The meniscus is a large C-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee that acts as a cushion between the shinbone and thighbone, absorbing shock within the knee joint. A meniscal tear is one of the most common knee injuries caused when a player forcefully twists or rotates their knee while bearing weight on it.
- Patellar Tendonitis (jumper’s knee): Patellar tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone. The patellar tendon enables several high-impact motions, such as extending the knee to run and jump, which is central to basketball. If ignored, tendon inflammation and damage can result in a tear of the patellar tendon.
- Knee Ligament Sprain or Tear: Knee ligament sprains occur when ligaments connecting the knee bones are stretched, resulting in trauma or damage from overuse. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement, resulting in the inability to do activities, such as pivoting, that involves turning or twisting at the knee.
- Knee Tendon Strain: While sprains affect the knee ligaments, strains affect the knee ligaments. Strain to the tendons occurs when stretching damages the knee tendons connecting bones to the associated knee muscles.
- ACL Tears: ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears occur when the knee twists or bends too far that it pops once or twice, causing excruciating pain and swelling that’ll stop you from playing. These injuries are often caused by abrupt changes of direction, improper landing after jumping, and sudden stops, all of which are common to a basketball game. When a basketball player suffers a torn ACL, they require surgical reconstruction, and upon returning to the game, they must wear a knee brace.
- MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) tears: When playing basketball, often a sprain that causes knee pain signifies MCL sprain caused by a twist or blow to the knee. Players suffer no severe pain but still require 4 to 8 weeks to heal, and then upon returning to the game, they'll need to wear braces at least for a few days.
- PCL Tears: The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) connects and stabilizes the knee joint bones. PCL tears occur when the knee gets injured from twisting and hyperextension.
By wearing knee braces, a recovering player can boost their confidence.
That said, different knee braces are best suited for other injuries. Therefore, ensure you talk to your doctor before purchasing a knee brace to get the brace type best suited for your specific injury.
You might also like: How Long Can I Wear a Knee Brace?
Get the Best Basketball Knee Brace
A good knee brace provides stability needed to alleviate pain from knee injuries and aids in healing after reconstructive knee surgery of ACL, PCL, MCL, and patella. It prevents knee injuries while giving you the confidence to enjoy what you love doing – playing basketball.
Whether it's to protect your knee or whatever issues you may be facing, you can't go wrong with the braces mentioned above. They're the best knee braces for basketball players.
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