Donjoy Nano Knee Brace

Donjoy Nano Knee Brace

Back in April I went to my ortho for a follow up appointment. During this appointment she identified a new problem that was a result of the AVN. The large part of my femur that is dead/dying is right on the outside edge of the knee joint. The bone is crumbling from the inside out and I’ve been on my crutches trying to save the joint from completely collapsing. Because of the location, my left leg is starting to bow in. If you look at my legs it’s very obvious that the leg is starting to lean inside. I never even noticed it before she mentioned it! (Never really pay attention to the angle of my legs haha) My ortho suggested a MAJOR surgery which would entail cutting my femur bone in half and re-angling it to correct the bow.

IMG_1754Um what? Seriously?

That just doesn’t seem like a logical solution to me.

I’d spend a TON of time in an immobilizer, more crutch time, tons of pain, and it wouldn’t fix the AVN situation?

Uh, no thanks. I think I’ll pass on that one.

I asked if there was a brace that would possibly mimic this surgery. There was, the Donjoy Nano, and I was fitted for it. The following week a representative from Elizur came out to my house to show me how to wear the brace. This is probably the 3 or 4th brace I’ve bought from the company – not to mention renting different machines, like the CPM machine, and other products I’ve bought from, them like my stim machine. I feel like I should have a frequent buyers card that gets me prizes or something.

Anyways, the guy first put the brace on backwards. (ummmm. Yeah.) After I mentioned it looked like it probably goes the other way, we turned it around and it fit a lot better. It wasn’t really what I was expecting. It didn’t seem like it was pushing my knee towards the left (like it was supposed to)? I called the ortho and they said to wear it and see if it helped and to report back about it when I came at the end of May.

In this photo you can see how my left leg is bowing to the inside. It wasn't until I saw this picture that I fully understood the problem.
In this photo you can see how my left leg is bowing to the inside. It wasn’t until I saw this picture that I fully understood the problem.

I went on wearing the Donjoy Nano for over a month and at my May follow up I asked if it was fitting properly. I did see a difference when I was doing yoga and things like that- my leg felt more supported (or maybe it was just in my head? Haha) Well, during this appointment I come to find out that I was supposed to receive a key which cranks the inside of the brace in and would push my leg to the left.

Ayyyyyeeeeeeeee. I wasn’t making it up! I knew there must be something that it was missing.

So after talking to the Elizur rep (who was so accommodating and sweet) a new key was located and she showed me how to use it. I immediately felt a difference. I felt like it opened up my joint (if that even makes sense?). So I’ve had the brace for 2 months, but I’ve only been wearing it the appropriate way for the last few days!

During that ortho appointment I also mentioned that my foot has been turning blue/purple (sometimes, not all the time) and I’ve been getting a tingling/numb feeling in the lower part of my leg and foot. She said it sounded like my CRPS was coming back and I should ask my blood or pain doctor. I asked my rheumy what she thought and said it probably was my AVN or CRPS. I asked my blood doctor and he said maybe it’s sciatica (which I totally don’t think it’s that) or CRPS. Then I saw my pain doctor and he identified the problem.

It definitely helps keep my knee stable enough to deepen my yoga practice. YAY! I still take it easy on it and avoid lunges and balancing poses.
It definitely helps keep my knee stable enough to deepen my yoga practice. YAY! I still take it easy on it and avoid lunges and balancing poses.

The problem was with the Donjoy Nano brace!

It’s not that it’s too tight or anything like that, it’s because it’s hitting a nerve that wraps around the top of my fibula. Because it’s irritating the nerve it’s causing these problems. So when I received my key for the brace, I also mentioned this concern. We added some padding to the area and I’m hopeful this will help. If it doesn’t, there really isn’t much more that the brace could do so I’ll need to talk to my ortho.

So all in all this whole brace situation has been pretty sketchy. I’ve had it for 2+ months and I still can’t give you an accurate review of the brace because it’s taken that long for people to get it fitting correctly.

Donjoy Nano review to come soon – unless another problem is identified! haha 😉

Wishing You A Pain Free Day!

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