Open Patella vs. Closed Patella | Which Knee Brace is Best For You?

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Knee injuries can be shared due to sports, repetitive motions, sudden impacts, or other factors. Regarding managing and preventing knee injuries, knee supports play a crucial role.

The main difference between open and closed patella is the design of the sleeves. Over the kneecap, you will find hole or opening in the knee support where the closed patella is fully covered.

Among the various types of knee supports available, the two main types of knee support are open and closed, so which one is best for running? This article discusses open patella vs. closed patella knee supports, their benefits, and how to choose the right option for your specific needs.


Open Patella Vs. Closed Patella Knee Supports: Choose The Right Knee Brace


The knee joints, one of the most important joints in our body, play an essential role in movement, as they are responsible for sitting, standing, walking, and running. Unfortunately, many experience knee issues such as chronic pain and stiffness, making these activities difficult or impossible.

Again, a brace can help alleviate some discomfort and regain full mobility. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one? In this section, we’ll explain what to look for when selecting a knee brace so you can get the support you need.


Understanding Knee Supports and Their Benefits:


Before differentiating between open and closed patella knee supports, knowing the general benefits of using knee supports is crucial. High-quality knee support offers several advantages, including:

  1. Support and Stability:
  • They provide support and stability to the knee joint.
  • Prevent excessive movement and promote proper alignment.
  1. Compression: 
  • Many knee supports offer compression, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • They also improve blood flow and provide pain relief.
  1. Heat Retention:

Some knee supports are designed to retain heat, which helps to increase blood circulation, relax muscles, and alleviate discomfort.

  1. Protection:

They provide a physical barrier and absorbing impact that protects the knee joint from further injuries.

Now, let’s explore open and closed patella, the key differences between open and closed patella knee supports, and how they can provide for your specific needs.


Open Patella Knee Brace:


Open patella knee supports are orthopedic devices. They are designed to provide stability and support to the knee joint. They are typically made from lightweight, breathable fabric with adjustable straps and a patella opening to allow a full range of motion.

  • They are commonly used by athletes, seniors, people with arthritis, or anyone needing extra knee support.
  • Open patella knee supports can help reduce pain and inflammation from sprains, strains, and other injuries while providing extra stability to the knee joint.


Closed Patella Knee Brace:


A closed patella knee brace is a closed-design brace typically made of a neoprene or elastic material. They can be worn either directly on the skin or over clothing. The mount typically covers the entire knee and compresses and supports the soft tissue surrounding the joint.

  • This joint support is designed to reduce pain, improve stability, and aid in healing after patella injury, surgery, or knee arthritis.
  • Many people use this type of brace for sports activities as well as for daily activities.

The Differences between Open Patella and Closed Patella: Comparison Table


Characteristics Open patella  


Closed patella


1. Features Feature a cut-out in the center of the brace that fits around the kneecap directly Do not have a cut-out for the patella
2. Knee support Provide mild to moderate knee support  Provide overall support to the entire knee joint, including both the front and back of the kneecap
3. Fit Tend to be more adjustable, allowing for a better fit for different knee sizes Offer a tighter fit since they do not have an opening in the center
4. Comfortability More comfortable range of motion, allowing you to kneel without having the brace press against your knee Less comfortable due to their design
5. Stability Less stabile due to their lack of full coverage.


Close-knit fabric provides more stability
6. Underneath clothing Cannot worn underneath clothing Can worn underneath clothing
7. Additional support Do not provide any additional support Additional support during your leg in contact with hard surfaces or other materials such as concrete or turf.
8.Mobility and bending Allowing for full motion, bending and flexibility of the leg due to open area Less mobility and bending due to closed area
9. Best for Best for mild knee pain to moderate injuries and arthritic pain Recommended for more severe types of injury or conditions because it offers greater stability and protection to the joint
11.Put on Require straps and buckles Easily slipped onto the leg without any extra effort
12.Blood Circulation Reduce blood circulation due to their tight fit and restrictive nature.


Designed to be snug but not so tight that it restricts blood flow
13.Protection They may not be enough protection for intense activities and sports a more rigid type of knee brace for adequate protection
14. To Remove Easy to remove difficult to remove due to their tight fit
15.Cost Budget friendly Slightly cost effective


Open Patella Vs. Closed Patella |Ultimate Guide to Knee Pain Relief


Knee support can be incredibly beneficial for those suffering from knee pain or at risk of a more severe injury. Knee supports come in various forms, from Elasticated Supports to Knee Stabilizers and Braces for more severe injuries.


Benefits Of Open Patella Knee Sleeves:


The open patella knee brace is a practical, non-surgical device for managing pain and conditions. It can provide significant relief for individuals who have arthritis, tendonitis, and other types of knee injuries.

  1. Increased Stability and range of motion:
  • It allows for improved stabilization of the knee joint, providing a more natural feeling and proper movement when walking or running.
  • Reduce pain and discomfort in the joint. Moreover, it reduces the risk of injury due to knee instability.
  • Enhance flexibility and reduce stiffness in the joint, making exercise and daily activities easier to perform.
  1. Improved Support: 
  • It provides better support for the knee joint than closed patella braces.
  • Increased levels of compression and stabilization for the joint help to reduce the risk of further injury due to knee instability or overextension.
  1. Comfort: 
  • Open patella braces are generally more comfortable and ideal for individuals suffering from chronic knee pain or inflammation.
  1. Easier to Use: 
  • The open patella design makes the brace easier to put on and take off, as it does not require unique straps or other hardware.
  1. Pleasing appearance:
  • Open patella designs are often more aesthetically pleasing as they are less bulky and more discreet.
  1. Affordable:
  • Open patella braces are generally more affordable and ideal for individuals looking for an effective and budget-friendly option for managing knee pain and conditions.
  1. Versatility:
  • They can be used for a wide range of knee conditions and injuries.
  • Whether you are suffering from chronic pain or inflammation, tendonitis, arthritis, bursitis, or instability, these braces can assist in the relief of knee pressure.
  • They are also suitable for use with both physical activity and everyday activities.
  • Additionally, many open patella braces can be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy and medications.
  1. Customizable:
  • Open patella braces are highly customizable, offering the ability to adjust the compression and fit of the mount to your individual needs.
  • In addition, many open patella braces come with additional features, such as straps or pockets for ice packs or heat pads, providing even greater customization.


Drawbacks Of Open Patella Knee Braces:


  1. Limited Support: 
  • Limited padding or cushioning for other leg parts, like the shin, calf, and ankle.
  1. Skin Irritation: 
  • The fabric used in open patella knee braces can irritate the skin, including chafing and rashes.
  1. Restrictive Movement: 
  • Open patella knee braces can benefit those with common knee injuries but can be restrictive for more athletic activities.
  1. Poor Fit:
  • Challenging to size correctly, which can lead to discomfort or poor support.
  1. Reduced Circulation:
  • Open patella knee braces can reduce blood circulation due to their tight fit and restrictive nature.
  1. Increased body Heat:
  • Tight-fitting open patella knee braces can cause an increase in body temperature around the area of the mount.
  1. Inadequate Protection:
  • They may need more protection for intense athletic activities and sports. A more rigid brace may be necessary for adequate protection in these cases.


Benefits Of Closed Patella Knee Support:


The closed patella is a closed knee brace that provides enhanced support and stability to the knee joint. It is commonly used for osteoarthritis, as chronic knee pain brace, instability, and other conditions such as ligament injuries and post-operative rehabilitation.

  1. Enhanced Stability: 

The closed patella brace provides improved stability due to its wrap-around design, which cradles the knee joint and reduces stress on the ligaments.

  1. Increased Comfort:

The wrap-around design doesn’t restrict movement and allows a more fantastic range of motion while providing support and stability.

  1. Additional Protection:

It provides additional protection from trauma, such as falls or other contact sports.

  1. Improved Circulation: 

The closed patella brace is designed to be snug. However, these braces are not so tight that it restricts blood flow. This ensures an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen, allowing faster healing.

  1. Reduced Swelling: 

The closed patella brace helps to reduce swelling and inflammation By providing extra support and compression to the knee joint.

  1. Easier to Maintain: 

Since it doesn’t require adjustments or straps, they easily slip onto the leg without any extra effort. This makes it ideal for those looking for a relatively maintenance-free solution.

  1. Improved Alignment: 

This type of brace ensures that the leg is held at a proper angle, which can help improve balance and posture.

  1. Versatile Designs:

Closed patella braces are available in various designs, making it easy to find one that fits comfortably and provides the desired level of support.


Drawbacks of Closed Patella Knee Braces:


  1. Reduced Mobility: 

They may reduce your mobility and range of motion while wearing them. This can be particularly uncomfortable if you are used to having a full range of motion in your knee joint.

  1. Uncomfortable Fit:

While these braces are designed to provide stability and support, they may be too tight for some people, causing discomfort or even pain.

  1. Skin Irritation: 

The constant rubbing of the material against the skin may lead to irritation or even chafing.

  1. Difficult To Remove: 

Closed patella knee braces may be difficult to remove due to their tight fit.


Types Of Knee Braces: Choose The Specific One


Knee injuries can be debilitating and cause tremendous pain. It becomes difficult to perform daily activities. In deciding between an open patella and a closed patella knee support, you must consider the support required for your specific condition or injury.

Fortunately, various knee supports are available to help alleviate the discomfort and aid recovery.

Choosing The Knee Braces Based On Materials:

  1. Neoprene Sleeves:

  • These lightweight sleeves offer a variety of features like compression, heat retention, and moderate support, making them suitable for managing pain and promoting healing.
  • They are usually quite affordable, making them a popular choice for athletes who don’t require intense protection from their knee support.
  1. Hinged Knee Braces:

  • They feature rigid hinges on both sides of the knee joint. This allows for more excellent stability and range of motion.
  • Hinged knee braces offer more protection than neoprene sleeves, making them a good choice for athletes who engage in more intense activities such as running or basketball.
  1. Compression Wraps:

  • Compression wraps are more lightweight and comfortable.
  • They are most often used to prevent knee injuries or during the recovery period after an injury.
  1. Adjustable knee Braces:

  • Adjustable knee braces offer greater customization, typically featuring adjustable straps for added comfort and protection.
  • Athletes who participate in high-impact football or martial arts activities often use these braces as knee protectors.
  1. Elasticated Supports:

Ideal for minor injuries and general knee protection, elasticated supports provide mild support and compression.

  1. Extreme Range:

The extreme range features a unique pump action system that keeps the skin dry, providing maximum support for more severe knee injuries.

According To The Severity Of Pain Common Knee Pads Are:


1. Mild to Moderate knee Pain: Sleeves, Straps, and Wraps
2. Moderate to Severe Pain:  Hinged and Extra-Knee Supports
3. Severe Injuries , knee Surgery or post – surgery: Rigid patella braces, Custom-fit braces, Post-operative braces


Knee injuries can be painful and debilitating, but the proper knee support can make a big difference in the level of knee protection and comfort. By understanding your needs and consulting with a physician, you can determine the most appropriate level of support required for your knee.


Open Patella and Closed Patella: Factors To Consider Before Selecting

When choosing a knee brace, reviewing all relevant factors, level of protection, and making an informed decision is essential. Consider these below factors to find a mount that offers the proper support, comfort, and fit for your needs.

  1. Types of knee braces you need:

The type of brace you require depends on the level of support needed or what your doctor recommends. Consider the type of brace you need.


Knee braces are generally classified into preventive, rehabilitative, and supportive brace:

  • Preventative braces are designed to reduce your risk of acute knee injury while participating in sports or other activities.
  • Rehabilitative braces are used after acute knee pain to speed up recovery and provide stability for the joint.
  • Supportive braces provide stability for people with chronic knee conditions like arthritis knee.
  1. Material:

You’ll want to pick one that is comfortable and breathable, so look for fabrics that wick away moisture and don’t irritate the skin. Some braces are made from neoprene or other synthetic materials that can cause sweating and discomfort if worn improperly.

  1. Size:

You may need to try different styles or sizes to get the right fit. Ensure the brace properly aligns with your knee joint and doesn’t slip or move while in use. If you need more clarification about the fit, it’s best to consult with your doctor or physical therapist.

  1. Support Level:

The first factor to consider when choosing a knee brace is the level of support it provides. Knee braces are available in various styles, from basic compression sleeves to more supportive wraps and hinge knee braces.

If you are looking for extra stability or injury protection, a wrap or hinge knee brace may be your best option.

  1. Comfort:

The second factor to consider is comfort. When a knee brace is too tight, it can cause chafing and discomfort. If you are prone to knee pain when running, opting for a prop with adjustable straps or a gel lining may provide extra comfort and support.

  1. Fit:

Finally, you should check that the brace fits properly. It should be snug but not tight and allow for the full range of motion without slipping or bunching up. Taking knee and calf circumference measurements will help you find the right size for your body type.

Selecting a brace that will allow you to move freely and feel comfortable is crucial. Choosing the right features for your particular needs ensures your brace is comfortable and practical.


Levels of Protection Provided By Knee Sleeve:


The level of protection needed in a knee brace is essential when selecting the right product. Depending on your activity level and the intensity of your condition, you may require more or less support.

There are several levels of protection that you should be aware of while choosing a knee brace:

Level 1 braces:

  • They are designed to fit snugly and give wearers extra confidence when performing.
  • These braces are ideal for those seeking mild to moderate pain relief while engaging in various activities.
  • They can also help keep inflammation under control or even help relieve existing knee discomfort.
  • These are ideal for activities involving full mobility, such as running and jumping, and perfect for knee pain relief from mild to moderate conditions like instability, painful knees, and tendonitis.
  • Level 1 knee braces, such as a knee sleeve


Level 2 braces:

  • Provide more protection than their Level 1, although they are slightly less flexible.
  • These offer mild to moderate knee support and can help manage ligament instabilities, previous knee injury, and tendonitis-related pain.
  • Movement may be slightly restricted as the level of support increases.
  • You can customize the brace’s fit with adjustable straps to ensure you remain protected without feeling constrained or overly restricted in your movements.
  • Wraparound or knee straps are excellent examples of Level 2 braces.


Level 3+ braces:

  • These styles of knee braces for those who need more support than what levels one or two offers, there are level 3+ braces.
  • These are designed with athletes in mind who require constant movement through sports activities yet need better stability than what the other two offerings could provide them.
  • For maximum safety and effectiveness, these mid-to-high-grade strength stabilizers are perfect for tackling any sport on high-intensity levels requiring more remarkable performance.
  • Such active sports include tennis and basketball, to name a few.


When You Should Wear a Knee Brace?


Wearing a knee brace can be vital to managing pain and protecting your knee joint from further injury. Knowing when to wear a knee brace for optimal healing is essential. This article discusses when to wear a knee brace and what braces are available.


  • In general, it is recommended to wear a knee brace anytime you are participating in activities that could put a strain on your injured knee or after surgery. This includes playing sports, running, walking, climbing stairs, and other activities that may cause discomfort.
  • If you’ve injured your knee or are recovering from surgery, wearing a knee brace can help provide support and stability.
  • Knee braces are essential for rehabilitative purposes, such as after an ACL injury where slow but steady movement is needed to regain one’s full range of motion.
  • Wearing the correct type of brace for your specific condition is essential. For instance, if you are recovering from a torn ligament, wear a hinged knee brace to provide extra support and stability.
  • Knee braces are beneficial in high-contact sports or activities with a higher likelihood of sustaining a knee injury, as the mount gives the athlete additional stability and support in potentially hazardous positions.
  • Consider wearing a brace daily or overnight to provide additional support and stability even when you’re inactive.


Wearing a knee brace could provide both stable support and extra protection before more serious treatment needs to be undertaken. Talk to your doctor first if you’re considering wearing a knee brace.


Guidelines Need To Follow While Wearing A Knee Brace:


Properly wearing a knee brace is essential to ensure its effectiveness and maximize its benefits. Here are some guidelines on how to wear a knee brace correctly:


  • Choose a knee brace that fits snugly but is tight enough. It should provide support and stability without constricting movement or cutting off circulation.
  • First, follow the sizing guidelines provided by the manufacturer to find the right fit.
  • Place the knee brace over your knee joint, ensuring it covers the entire knee area and aligns with the patella (open or closed).
  • Make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Most knee braces should be worn directly against the skin.
  • Some individuals may need to wear it all day for maximum support, while others may only need it during specific activities.
  • Remember to regularly inspect your knee brace for any signs of damage or wear.
  • If the mount becomes damaged or lacks adequate support, consult a healthcare professional to arrange a replacement.


Important Tips:

Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or a healthcare professional for the best approach. Follow the guidance of your healthcare professional to ensure optimum benefits.

In conclusion:

The choice between open patella vs. closed patella knee supports is personal need. I think the guideline discussed above will help you to select the perfect patella for you.

Anyway, before purchasing a knee brace, consider your specific injury or condition level of support required, and consult a healthcare professional. Remember to properly wear and maintain your knee brace to ensure its effectiveness and longevity.

Open patella vs. closed patella knee supports will help you to choose the right knee brace for your needs. It depends on your knee condition and injury level.


FAQ (Open patella vs. closed patella):


  1. How long should I wear the knee brace each day?

The duration of wearing a knee brace varies depending on the injury and type of mounting. Some individuals may need to wear the brace all day, while others may only require it during activities that cause discomfort. Consult a physician to know the proper wearing time for your knee brace.

  1. Can I still participate in physical activities while wearing a knee brace?

Knee braces support and stabilize the knee joint, reducing pain during physical activities. Depending on the nature of your injury, some forms of physical activity may be safe while wearing a knee brace.

Anyway, for specific injuries like an ACL tear, it may be necessary to avoid certain activities temporarily.

  1. How long does a knee brace typically last?

The lifespan of a knee brace depends on several factors, such as the type of brace, frequency of use, and level of wear and tear. A high-quality knee brace can typically last several months or longer with proper care. Regular inspection and maintenance can extend the lifespan and ensure continued support.

  1. Can I sleep while wearing a knee brace?

A knee brace while sleeping may be recommended for added support and protection, depending on your injury or condition. Specific damages may require overnight brace usage to safeguard the knee in different sleeping positions. It is essential to follow the guidance of a healthcare professional regarding the proper overnight use of your knee brace.

  1. Can knee braces cause more pain?

Knee braces should not cause increased pain or worsen existing symptoms. However, properly wearing the correct knee brace type can increase discomfort.

When selecting a knee brace, consulting with a healthcare professional ensures it is worn correctly. Avoid wearing a brace unnecessarily, as it can lead to muscle weakness if used excessively.


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