CARLSBAD, Calif. — Breg on Thursday announced the launch of the FreeRunner knee brace with new innovations to help people, particularly runners, who suffer from patella mal-tracking return to active lifestyles. FreeRunner's patent-pending design acts on knee anatomy differently than other braces, providing support when patients need it most, and the ability to move normally when they don't.
Patellofemoral issues are the most common cause of knee pain seen by healthcare providers, according to the company. More than 2.5 million runners are diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome every year. It is typically caused by overuse, injury, excess weight, muscle imbalance or a knee cap that is misaligned. Common examples of patella mal-tracking are patella dislocation, runner's knee and patellar tendonitis, among other conditions.
"Working with Breg on this brace is my first experience with a manufacturer partnering with clinicians to design a better product," said Jill Monson of Monson Orthopaedic Consulting. "The team really listened to relevant clinical needs and goals of patients, and helped develop a brace design rooted in known patellofemoral joint biomechanics."
Unlike other patellofemoral braces, FreeRunner provides maximum stabilization of the patella when the leg is extended, helping to keep the knee cap in place when it is most vulnerable to mal-tracking or dislocation. The brace offloads pressure when the leg is bent in flexion and the patella is not as unstable. This allows freedom of movement without sacrificing support.
"Patellofemoral braces have not changed much in the last 20 years," said Brad Lee, president and CEO of Breg. "Our new FreeRunner challenges the outdated way of bracing these conditions. It is highly functional, comfortable and non-binding during activity. We set out to make a brace that works and people want to wear. We believe we've achieved that goal."
At 7 oz., FreeRunner is lightweight and low-profile for minimal interference during activities. The brace incorporates new, breathable Smart-Zone compression fabrics that direct moderate compression for anatomic support where needed, and light compression over the patella and the popliteal space at the back of the knee for a non-binding fit.