What is Osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a general term describing inflammation of the joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterized by breakdown of the joint’s cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones. The breakdown of cartilage causes bones to rub against each other, leading to pain, tenderness, swelling and decreased function.

The exact cause of osteoarthritis remains unknown, but a combination of factors, including being overweight, the aging process, joint injury, and stresses on the joints from certain jobs and sports activities may contribute to joint degeneration.

Over time, the cartilage may wear away in some areas, decreasing its ability to act as a shock absorber. As the cartilage deteriorates, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. If the condition worsens, the bones could rub against each other.

Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the weight bearing joints of the hips, knees, and spine. It can also affect the ankle, fingers, thumb, neck, and large toe. It usually does not affect other joints unless previous injury or excessive stress is involved.

Osteoarthritis affects each person differently. In some people, it progresses quickly, in others, the symptoms are more serious.

In order for osteoarthritis to be treated effectively, the cartilage and synovial fluid in the joints must be protected against further destruction thereby reducing pain and improving mobility of the affected joints.

Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis

No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis.

A combination of the following methods to diagnose the disease and rule out other conditions:

Clinical History – Good clinician-patient communication will enhance the assessment. An comprehensive description of pain, stiffness and joint function including a list of medication which you are taking, will aid in accurate diagnosis.

Physical Examination – Your general health, including testing reflexes, muscle strength and performing activities of daily living, should be observed during the assessment.

X-Rays – X rays of the affected joint can indicate cartilage loss, bone damage, and bone spurs. However, there may be a difference between the severity of osteoarthritis as shown by the x ray and the degree of pain and disability felt by the patient. X-Rays may not indicate the early onset of osteoarthritis, before significant joint degeneration has taken place.

Pathology – Blood tests can rule out other causes of symptoms. Joint aspiration, which involves drawing fluid from the joint for examination may also be used to formulate diagnosis. The treatment for Osteoarthristis can come in the form of diet, exercise, and bracing (e.g. CTI knee brace) of commonly affected joints such as knee, hip, spine, shoulder and elbow. Like other mechanical injuries, there can be a presentation of acute or chronic symptoms. There is no one major cause i.e poor diet in excess of alcohol or nutritional imbalance, genetic history or mechanical joint overuse. Neither is there one major treatment, exercise rehabilitation and bracing form a large part of treating conservatively however surgical intervention by an orthopaedic surgeon can take place if certain indications such as extensive chondral defects (G4 Defects) or osteophytes are present.

Don Joy – OAdjuster

Ossur – Unloader ONE

Osteoarthritis: Knee Bracing

The knees are the body’s primary weight-bearing joints. For this reason, they are among the joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis. They may be stiff, swollen, and painful which significantly impacts mobility.

Osteoarthritis knee pain arises due to the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint. Knee trauma such as broken bone, cartilage and/or supportive ligaments can disrupt the integrity of the joint, leading to premature OA in either the medial (inner) or lateral (outer) compartment of the knee joint.

This can easily be overcome by the correct application of an appropriately selected knee brace.

Osteo-arthritis knee braces have been specifically designed to dynamically unload excessive forces in the affected compartment of the knee, reducing gradual degeneration of the cartilage, providing relief of pain, improving mobility and stabilizing your knee.


Knee braces are designed to transfer load while allowing for normal knee function and are designed for prophylactic or functional use.

Prophylactic knee braces can be used for most sports and are typically used to stabilise the knee in the coronal and sagittal planes of movement to prevent straining the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) and ACL (anterior crutiate ligament).

Functional knee braces are designed and used to prevent recurrent instability in patients with ACL (anterior crutiate ligament) or PCL (posterior crutiate ligament) tears. The majority of the functional knee braces are designed to protect a patient with an ACL-deficient knee or to protect the ACL reconstructed graft while returning to full activity.

Knee braces are available off-the-shelf or are custom fabricated. Both have proven to be effective if the geometry of the braces matches the geometry of the extremity. Off-the-shelf braces are designed based on the approximate geometry and length of the individual’s knee. Therefore we recommend that you/the patient should try different braces from different companies in order to determine the best fit and function.

Malcolm Freedman & Associates (Inc) is a certified CTi and DonJoy Brace centre.

CTi Off –the-Shelf

Don Joy – Armor

CUSTOM CTi Knee brace

DONJOY Defiance Knee brace

CTi Knee Bracing: click on the links below for more information about CTi Knee Bracing

Patient Testimonial:

Ross Goodall

I just wanted to say thank you very much for sorting out my new braces, they fit fantastically, and Im super happy with the service you have provided me with.

I have been riding with Cti braces now for the best part of 15 years as a result of a torn ACL, and a detached MC ligament, and as far as Im concerned, every wakeboard should be using them as a protective and preventative measure. My Cti braces have allowed me to do things that my doctors told me I would never be able to do. The support they offer is unbelievable, the feel is super natural, and the confidence they provide to me as a rider is nothing short of exceptional.

So, big thanks to you Malcolm for the great service, and the guys at Ossur for an exceptional product.