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What is a Hip Brace?

By Rhonda Rivera
Updated Feb 07, 2024
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Also known as hip orthoses, hip braces are regularly used by people who have undergone hip revision surgery or require a better hip alignment to relieve pain. Used post-operatively, hip braces are devices that help to prevent the hips from moving into an improper alignment. Their appearance is usually similar to that of a harness which one steps into.

A hip brace can be used for a variety of reasons, including as support for the hips while a person heals after an injury or recovers from a surgery. These devices come in many styles to best suit the wearer and its primary purpose. Hip braces can also relieve leg pain caused by a strain or Iliotibial band syndrome. Braces can be used by infants, young children, and adults to give them proper hip alignment.

These devices are usually available in a variety of colors, though black and blue are most common. The materials differ based on the purpose of the brace. For example, some braces are specifically designed to hinder movement while others are designed to do the opposite. Different materials can better accomplish these goals. A popular feature is a removable and machine washable lining, though some braces may be hand-wash or spot-clean only.

Normally, a hip brace requires a prescription from a doctor to acquire, even if purchasing from an Internet shop. This allows the device to be covered under a health insurance plan and helps prevent serious damage from wearing an unsuitable device. Wearing a proper-fitting hip brace is especially important for growing children. It is not recommended to wear any type of hip brace without first consulting a health professional.

These braces are not limited to human use. Dogs that suffer from arthritis and other conditions that cause back pain can find comfort by wearing a hip brace. A brace can also prove useful to dogs that do not have good control over their back legs, or have difficulty moving about in their old age. Like hip braces for humans, it is important for the dog’s health for a veterinarian to approve the use of a hip brace before use. These devices are widely available for small, medium and large breeds.

Hip orthotics refers to an area of medicine dedicated to creating and fitting hip orthoses or braces. Orthos means straight or proper in Greek, hence the terms orthosis, orthodontics, and orthopedic. Most orthotics design braces in general rather than just hip braces, however.

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Discussion Comments
By bagley79 — On Sep 04, 2011

After my dad had hip surgery, he had to wear a hip support brace for several weeks. It seemed like the recovery time was a bit slow for him.

The brace was really helpful as it gave him the extra support he needed while he went through the healing process.

Eventually he got to the point where he didn't have to wear the brace for as long during the day. Finally the day came when he didn't need to wear it at all anymore.

Even though it was a long process, he is glad he had the surgery to relieve the pain he was having. He was really glad to put that brace away for the last time though.

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