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Brace yourself! Have your say on a proposed new trial of braces for knee osteoarthritis

The numbers only tell part of the story. 170,000 hip and knee replacements each year. Almost one million people visiting their GP for help. Billions of pounds in lost productivity and other costs to the economy.

Behind the numbers on osteoarthritis, of course, are people living with osteoarthritis. The condition and its effects vary a lot from one person to another. But it can be difficult coping with pain and other symptoms (particularly in the face of sudden, unpredictable episodes), trying to maintain or adapt daily activities, and dealing with the frustration and uncertainty about the future.

Safe, effective treatments available in primary care are part of the solution.

The National Institute for Health Research recently called for a new trial of knee braces in primary care. Patients were involved in prioritising this topic. Here’s why,

“Osteoarthritis (OA) is often made worse by weight-bearing or biomechanical forces through an affected joint. Local support for the joint may improve pain and function. A large number of support devices are available to help people with OA, for example braces for OA of the knee. Their aim is to improve both function and symptoms. The cost of knee braces to the NHS each year is very high. However, there are very few large, pragmatic trials to demonstrate the efficacy of knee braces and there is little information available to guide healthcare professionals on which people would benefit most from these aids…”

We are a group of researchers working together with patient representatives. We are planning our knee brace trial. If funded, we would invite patients in Northumbria, Staffordshire, Cheshire, and Manchester to take part. We’d like to hear the views of Voice North members.

Professor George Peat
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology

Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre
Keele University


Add a comment
  • Zanna28
    15th November 2019

    Hi - I submitted an application but after I pressed 'send' the Voice webpage said 'page not found', so I am not sure it went through. Please confirm. I can re-submit if need be.

    Rosanna King

  • NIHR London IVD Filipa Amaral
    15th November 2019

    Dear Elsie,

    Thank you for your interest in being involved at NIHR London IVD. On the top right-hand side of this page, there is a green button that says "apply here". We would be grateful if you could submit your application there. Please do not hesitate to contact me ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

    Best Wishes,


    NIHR London IVD Co-op PPI Lead

    Imperial College London​

    St Mary's Hospital

    QEQM 10th Floor,

    South Wharf Road, Paddington

    London W2 1NY

    E:[email protected]

  • MaminaNana
    15th November 2019

    I am interested in joining this group and most important, helping out.

    From my home, St Mary’s Hospital is 11 minutes walking distance door to door for me, so attending meetings will not present a problem for me even at short notice.

    I am happy to help and assist in any and all ways that help is required. Cheers Elsie