The first step to identifying the most appropriate knee brace for a patient is to establish what condition or injury the patient has sustained. This will generally be a Ligament injury or Osteoarthritis (OA). DJO provides a number of options from DonJoy for both indications.
A general way of looking at it is to assume we need the most protection via a Rigid Brace, then work our way down depending on what the patient's needs are, what their medical history is and what their activity levels are. Patient questioning starts with what injury have you sustained, and where are you at with the recovery? Have they had surgery, or are they planning on it? What sport/activity they want to participate in.
For a ligament injury - look first to an Armor Fourcepoint, and then scale down based on the sports/activities and injury. If the patient performs high level activity (such as high impact multi-directional sports like skiing, watersports and American Football) the Armor Fourcepoint is the go-to. If the injury is anything above a Grade 1 Ligament Sprain, or Mild Meniscal Damage, and they participate in these activities, the Armor Fourcepoint is a good solution. For the most extreme injuries a custom option might be considered.
If the patient is takes part in less strenuous activities, such Racquet Sports, and walking, but has still had a reasonably serious injury - then consider the Fullfource (ACL) or Renegade (ACL). These are less rigid than the Armor Fourcepoint, and there is a little as more flex in the frame.
For patients requiring a brace but with a less severe injury, then semi-rigid braces are worth discussing. The Playmaker II and Playmaker Xpert are both good options here. For those presenting with very mild injuries the Reddie Brace could be considered.
Similar to the approach with ligament braces, for OA, assume the patient needs a Rigid Off-loading Brace (the most effective) unless they are a milder case.
With rigid braces, a popular choice is the OA Nano, unless they are a larger patient (over 100kg) or have very severe OA (when the OA Adjuster 3, or a custom may be more suitable). The OA Nano is extremely lightweight, comfortable, and will provide good stability for the patient. The feeling of stability is important for more elderly patients who may have lost confidence in their knee.
For more mild OA cases the Climaflex OA can be considered. This bridges the gap between a sleeve and a Rigid Off-loading brace.
The sleeve-style OA Reaction Web and Trizone are both great options for patients with more mild symptoms, in need of some support and pain relief.