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Learn How to Size and Fit Your Donjoy Knee Brace

22 CommentsTuesday, 4 April 2017

Donjoy Armor knee braces are the industry standard in providing protection and support to the knees during physical activity, giving athletes the confidence to push themselves without the fear of injury. These knee braces can boost both support and safety for the user, but these benefits are jeopardised if the proper care and attention are not taken in the sizing process. A properly sized knee brace will support and protect the areas where it's needed most, but with improper sizing the brace can slip and lose many of its key attributes.

Sizing your Knee Brace

The sizing of Donjoy Armor braces is quick and easy, with three key measurements to be made in order to ensure the perfect fit. The three necessary measurements are described and shown below.

  • Above the knee - This measurement should be taken 15cm (6 inches) above the knee. Wrap your measuring tool around your thigh at this point and record the circumference of the area. Please see the image below for further clarification.

Measure the circumference of your thigh six inches above your kneecap

  • At knee centre - This measurement is taken at the centre of your knee, directly over your patella, or kneecap. Wrap the measuring tape around your kneecap and across the back of your knee, recording the circumference.

Measure the circumference of your knee around the patella

  • Below the knee - For this final measurement, wrap the measuring tape around your calf 15cm (6 inches) below the knee. Again, record the circumference, and you have completed the measuring process.

Measure your calf six inches below your patella

 

These sizing and application instructions apply to the following Donjoy Knee Braces, all available from Health and Care with free UK delivery on all orders.

Important Tips

Once you've properly measured your leg at the thigh, knee and calf, and have ordered the right size for you, you're ready to try your brace on and feel the support for yourself. Before you begin, we've compiled a few key tips to help your application go as smoothly as possible:

  1. Sit on a firm surface – When applying your knee brace, always sit on a stable, firm chair or bench, sitting near the edge for the most freedom and best results. Do not sit on a soft bed or sofa, as the sagging effect can decrease the fit and comfort of your brace once applied. Sitting on a firm surface allows the brace to be placed higher up the leg for a better fit.
  2. Hold the hinges – To get the perfect positioning for your knee brace, hold it by the hinges. This allows you to accurately place the centre of the brace around your knee, ensuring the best protection possible.
  3. Don't over-tighten – Never over-tighten the top straps on the thigh (straps #2 and 3), as this will push the brace further down your leg. Don't worry if the brace doesn't feel perfect with only the top straps fastened, as the lower calf straps will secure the brace in place on your leg once tightened.
  4. Apply directly to skin – Make sure you apply your knee brace directly to your skin, and not over your pants. A thin undergarment sleeve is suitable to be worn under the brace as long as it doesn't significantly increase the circumference of your leg.
  5. Make sure that you are familiar with the straps – Throughout the rest of the guide, we will be referring to the straps by their number or name. The straps on your Donjoy Armor should be numbered, however you can refer to the image below for clarity

Donjoy Armor Strap Numbers

Step-By-Step Knee Brace Application Instructions

Now that you're prepared for proper application of your knee brace, we've prepared a step-by-step guide to ensure the perfect application, every time.

Step 1: Initial Preparation

A. To start off the application, sit on the edge of your firm surface in a stable position.

B. Ensure that your knee is slightly bent (45°), and your foot is placed flat on the floor (Figure 1).

Before measurement
Fig. 1 Position your leg at the correct angle

Step 2: Brace and Hinge Placement

A. Now that you're seated in the proper position, undo the straps and step through the brace (Figure 2A).

Step into the brace
Fig. 2A Step into the brace

B. Holding the brace by the hinges, centre the hinges 1 inch above the top of your knee cap.

C. Then, push the hinges slightly back behind the midline of the knee (Figure 2B).

Move the hinges back 1 inch
Fig. 2B Move the hinges back an inch

Step 3: Anti-Migration Band Placement

A. Secure the anti-migration calf band around the leg with a snug fit. Make sure this band is in full contact with the leg and does not wrap around the outside of the brace (Figure 3). Please note that the anti-migration band is not designed to be threaded through any plastic buckle and should wrap directly around your leg.

Fit the anti-migration band against the skin around your leg
Fig. 3 Fit the anti-migration band

B. Please note that the anti-migration band is connected to both Strap #4 and Strap #5. Neither of these straps should be fastened until later on in the fitting process.

Step 4: Secure Straps #1 and #2

A. Secure the strap #1 (which is the lowest strap on the calf until it has a snug fit (Figure 4A).

Secure strap #1 around the lower calf
Fig. 4A Secure strap #1 around the calf

B. Secure the top thigh strap #2, but not too tightly, as that can cause the brace to slip down your leg (Figure 4B).

Tighten the strap at the top of the thigh (strap #2)
Fig. 4B Tighten strap #2 at the top of the thigh

C. Again, following this step, push the hinges slightly back behind the midline of your knee.

Step 5: Secure Straps #3 and #4

A. Secure the lower thigh strap #3 until you feel a snug fit (Figure 5A).

Tighten Strap 3 for the lower thigh
Fig. 5A Tighten strap #3, the lower of the calf straps

B. Secure upper front calf strap #4 until it is very snug. (Figure 5B). Strap #4 can be found at the front of the anti-migration band and should be threaded through the loops on the band. This step is especially critical for patients with ACL injuries.

Secure strap 4 at the top of the calf
Fig. 5B Tighten strap #4 on the upper shin

Step 6: Securing Strap #5

A. Secure the back calf strap #5, which again is connected to the anti-migration band, until is has a comfortable fit (Figure 6).

Tighten Strap 5 at the back of the calf
Fig. 6 Tighten strap #5 until the brace is comfortable

B. After the initial fitted of this strap, you do not need to undo it. It will work to keep the anti-migration band in place.

Step 7: Check your Fit and Re-Tighten

A. At this point, your brace should fit snugly to your leg. OA patients should feel a slight push on one side of the knee. If you have done this correctly, your brace should now be fully fitted (Figure 7).

The Donjoy Armor Should now be fitted properly
Fig. 7 Your brace should now be fitted properly

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

If you've followed these instructions and still find that your knee brace doesn't fit as well as it should, here are some extra tips to help you out.

1: Ensure Proper Hinge Placement

A. In a perfectly-fit knee brace, the hinges will be at the midline of your knee. The pads will be making full contact with your leg.

B. If the hinges of your knee brace are too far forward, you should loosen all the straps to allow for adjustment. Then, you can push the hinges back while raising them slightly up. After you've done this, retighten all the straps and re-evaluate your fit.

2: Ensure Proper Alignment

A. On a well-fit knee brace, the hinges should be slightly higher than your knee cap. The pads will be making full contact with your leg.

B. If the brace is too low down your leg, loosen all the straps. Then, raise the hinges up your leg, re-tighten the straps and re-evaluate your fit.

3: Ensure Proper Fit

A. If no mistakes have occurred during the sizing process and your knee brace fits correctly, there will be no major gapping between the brace and your leg. The pads will be making full contact with your leg.

B. If the brace you have selected is too large, you can add extra condyle pads to improve your fit. Alternately, you can call us at Health and Care to discuss a replacement with a more appropriate size.

4: Try Again

Due to the highly technical design of Donjoy Armor braces, they require a more precise fit in order to ensure that you are getting the optimal level of support. This naturally means that the application of the brace may take some getting used to before you can find the perfect fit. If you follow this guide and find that the brace does not fit well, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have purchased the incorrect size. Try fitting your brace another two or three times to ensure that you have a good grasp of the application process.

You can buy our full range of Donjoy Knee Braces today at HealthandCare.co.uk, with free UK delivery on all orders. Have any questions or anything to add? Tell us in the comments below!


Nikki Segura
Friday, 19 January 2018  |  9:28

I have a Donjoy armour force point. I think it is the earlier model to this as I have had it for 4 years and it has an extra adjustable strap but below the top metal part across the quad. I bought one after reconstructive surgery to repair a ruptured ACL, PCL and medial ligament. This last year I have lost 4 stone and my current brace is an XL size. My new measurements are:

Circumference of knee cap: 39cm
6" above: 52cm
6" below: 36 1/2cm

Can I just put some of the extra pads that came with the brace to ensure it fits either side of the knee and do the straps tighter or do I need a new brace?

Many thanks,
Nikki


Alex
Friday, 19 January 2018  |  9:53

Hi Nikki,

Unfortunately, with a product such as the Donjoy Armor, the sizing of the product can have a huge effect on how effective the brace is. In cases where measurements have changed significantly, I would have to recommend buying a new brace completely.

Thanks for your question!

Best wishes,

Alex at Health and Care


L
Sunday, 28 January 2018  |  11:42

Not sure of size to purchase - measurements are:
52,38,35
Medium or Large??


eugene
Wednesday, 31 January 2018  |  10:34

Hi L,

With your measurements, you'll be most suited to the medium size. Though you're at the top end of the knee circumference range, it shouldn't be too much of a problem as you'll want a close fit in that area anyway.

If after trying it on you do feel that a larger size would be more comfortable, you'll have 14 days to return the product and we'll be happy to provide you with a large.

Kind regards.

Eugene at Health and Care


Charlotte
Wednesday, 14 February 2018  |  13:40

Hi, I'm unsure whether to purchase a small or a medium as my measurements are borderline -

Thigh - 47cm
Knee - 35.5 cm
Calf - 35cm

Which would you recommend?

Thanks


eugene
Wednesday, 14 February 2018  |  15:57

Hi Charlotte,

The medium size should suit you best. You're a little smaller in the calf, but that shouldn't be a problem as you can tighten the calf straps and anti-migration band to get a snug fit.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Peter L Bland
Friday, 9 March 2018  |  23:24

hi im ready to order but mt right knee is enlarged through arthritis . measurements are 55, 46, 40. so large would be tight on the knee, extra large would be loose around the thigh and calf
please help


eugene
Tuesday, 13 March 2018  |  11:30

Hi Peter,

Sorry for the delay in our reply.

If you're a little large in a certain area, I would always recommend going with the larger size. You may have to fully tighten the straps to get a snug fit, but that's always better than a brace that's too small and possibly ineffective. The Extra Large size will most likely be your best bet.

Remember, if you feel that in retrospect you'd prefer a different size, you can return the brace within 14 days and we'll change it out for you.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Doron
Saturday, 10 March 2018  |  9:54

Hi
My measures are:
Thigh - 49.0 cm
Knee - 39.0 cm
Calf - 38.5 cm
I assume that brace size is Medium (despite the Knee 39CM circumference)
Thanks in advance
Doron


eugene
Tuesday, 13 March 2018  |  11:39

Hi Doron,

I would actually recommend the Large size to be safe. Though you're smaller in the thigh and calf, those areas are a little easier to tighten up than the knee, which is really the crucial area of the brace.

If after trying it on you feel that a Medium would suit you better, you'll have a 14 day period after arrival to return the brace and we'll be happy to send you a different size.

King regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Albert
Saturday, 10 March 2018  |  20:09

47 cm 6up
38 cm mid
37 cm 6down
Which size?


eugene
Tuesday, 13 March 2018  |  11:47

Hi Albert,

While your thigh and knee sizes are near the limits, you do still fall within the Medium size range on all parameters, so that should be the best choice for you.

When trying on the brace, make sure there is adequate space for your knee and that it doesn't slip around too much after being fully fitted.

If there is still a problem after undergoing all the steps above, you can return the brace within 14 days and we'll help you find a better size for you.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Shirley Robinson
Tuesday, 27 March 2018  |  15:19

I broke my patella 2 weeks ago and have a knee brace I have to adjust to 30 tomorrow how do I do this please


Alex
Wednesday, 28 March 2018  |  11:58

Hi Shirley,

Do you have any information about the type of knee brace you have, such as the brand and model? There is quite a lot of difference between models so we will need more details before we can advise you!

Thanks for your request!

Best Wishes,

Alex at Health and Care


Lewis
Friday, 11 May 2018  |  19:20

thigh 55cm / 21.6 inches

midpoint 39cm / 15.35 inches

calf 40cm / 15.7 inches

which Donjoy size please?


eugene
Tuesday, 15 May 2018  |  9:19

Hi Lewis,

I would recommend a Large size for you, even though you're a little smaller in the calf. You should still be able to get a snug fit in the calf, as the calf strap and anti-migration band allow you to adjust the brace as tight as you'd like.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Abdul
Saturday, 18 August 2018  |  4:26

Hello,
Please help:
Tigh: 53.5 cm

Center: 40 cm

Calf: 40.5 cm


eugene
Thursday, 23 August 2018  |  11:00

Hi Abdul,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

All of your measurements fit into the Large size, even though your thigh and calf sizes are on the lower end of the Large threshold.

The securing straps will allow a snug fit, so the Large size should be comfortable and secure for you.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care


Sally
Tuesday, 23 October 2018  |  21:29

Hi,

Would it be possible to tell me the correct sizing to buy please. My knee is still a little swollen and puffy at times. Just measured it after a walk.

Thigh- 49cm
Knee- 38.cm
Calf-34cm


Sally
Tuesday, 23 October 2018  |  21:59

Sorry should be
Thigh 49
Knee 37.5
Calf 34


eugene
Wednesday, 24 October 2018  |  9:21

Hi Sally,

The medium size should be right for you. The calf section is the easiest part of the brace to tighten to fit, so it shouldn't be a problem that you're a little smaller in that area.

Kind regards,

Eugene at Health and Care