Submissions from Readers

Knee weakness after a stroke

by Patricia
(Virginia)

Question: I had a stroke eight year ago, was paralyzed on my right side which resolved after the better part of a year. I was left with this residual problem: I can move my knee normally, however, when I walk the knee " jerks" back as though it is going to hyperextended. I can't control this no matter how slowly I go. Now for eight years I have worn a brace that goes under my foot nearly to my knee - it was for foot drop initially but now it's worn because it seems to provide some knee support- my knee doesn't jerk. The physical therapist just brush it aside and does not really answer me. I don't think I need the brace for my foot any longer. Is there a brace for my knee that would help me. The foot brace makes for a miserable time and I would love to be rid of it. I know this is long but I would appreciate some sort of an answer, Thank you very much!


Answer: There are knee braces for hyperextension. Some are hard and bulkier, but they also have softer braces too. I would do a search for knee hyperextension braces online. You could try and see if a soft brace provides enough support to prevent hyperextension. You can also do taping that helps prevent knee hyperextension Taping and soft braces may or may not provide enough support to prevent hyperextension, and you will only find out by trying them. If they do not provide enough support, then you would probably need to look at a more supportive (stiffer) knee brace. You would then have to decide if the AFO or the stiffer knee brace was more comfortable. Hopefully, a softer brace or taping will help. You can also continue to work on exercises to strengthen the knee muscles in hopes of controlling the hyperextension.

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