A knee orthosis (KO) only provides support or control of the knee but not of the foot and ankle. The knee joint is centered over the medial femoral condyle. If the patient does not have adequate gastrocnemius delineation so that there is a shelf for the distal end of the orthosis to rest on, the brace may slide down the leg with wear. In that case, the brace needs to extend to the sole of the foot.
- Knee orthoses for patellofemoral disorder: These orthoses are used to supply mediolateral knee stability and to control tracking of the patella during knee flexion and extension. This type of orthosis includes an infrapatellar strap KO and Palumbo KO.
- Knee orthoses for knee control in the sagittal plane: These orthoses are used to control genu recurvatum with minimal mediolateral stability. This type of KO includes a Swedish knee cage and a 3-way knee stabilizer.
- Knee orthoses for knee control in the frontal plane: These orthoses consist of thigh and calf cuffs joined by sidebars with mechanical knee joints. The knee joint usually is polycentric and closely mimics the anatomic joint motion. This type of KO includes traditional metal-leather KO, Miami KO, Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society- University of British Columbia KO, and supracondylar KO.
- Knee orthoses for axial rotation control: These orthoses can provide angular control of flexion-extension and mediolateral planes, in addition to controlling axial rotation. This orthosis is used mostly in management of sports injuries of the knee. This type of KO includes Lenox-Hill derotation orthosis and Lerman multiligamentous knee control orthosis.