Walking brace is the medical device which is used to support foot, leg or ankle allowing the person to walk properly. It is commonly used in condition when person feels difficulty in walking due to some fracture, injury or surgery. Walking braces are sometimes also used by people suffering from spasticity or muscle weakness so that they can walk steadily. Walking braces are also used for people suffering from congenital conditions which results in weakening of bones or causes leg to turn out. As for example, patients with cerebral palsy might be prescribed with walking brace. In walking braces market, different styles of walking braces are available depending upon the supportive nature of the device which includes:
- Post operative braces
- Knee braces
- Ankle brace
- Ankle walker brace
- Ankle or foot orthosis
- Shine brace wraps
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Among these braces knee braces and ankle braces capture the major share of walking braces market. Knee braces are worn during regular activities and exercise. These braces help in protecting the knee from injury during running and other sports activities. The osteoarthritis patients also use these braces to large extent. The increasing interest of people towards sports activities is helping knee braces market to grow. These braces sometimes cause skin irritation which is restraining factor for walking braces market. According to the usage, knee braces market is further classified into three segments namely basic, advanced and elite. Basic knee braces are used during normal exercise and sports activities while advanced and elite braces are prescribed according to the severity of the injury or fracture.
Ankle braces are supportive braces which are used in foot drop conditions. Foot drop occurs majorly occur due to motor neuron disorders such as polio and neurodegenerative disorders of brain such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. All these walking braces available in market are made up of different materials and market is classified into following segments on the basis of material used:
- Metal braces
- Plastic braces
- Composite materials
Metal braces have captured the walking braces market mostly but composite materials are now replacing metal braces markets due to enhanced and better properties. As for example, the knee braces made by neoprene material are preferred over other braces as it retains heat which helps in promoting healing and also reduces pain and swelling. Additionally, as the neoprene braces keeps body warm, it helps in protecting muscles and joints during exercise.
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Europe leads in walking braces market followed by the North America majorly due to the stable economic conditions and awareness about the treatments available for the treatments. Government of U.S. is also helping the walking braces market to grow by granting patents to the walking braces manufactures. As for instance, DJO Global has been granted patent for its Aircast products. Asia-Pacific countries are also growing at faster pace majorly driven by the economies of Japan, China, India and Malaysia due to increasing economy and rising government initiatives to improve and spread awareness about the healthcare sector. The major market players in walking braces market include Ossur, Bracemasters International Llc, Benecare Medical, Patterson Medical, Ltd., Kare Orthopaedics, Ltd., Ovation Medical, Langer (UK), Ltd. Promedics Orthopaedic, Ltd and Renace, Ltd.
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