A leg brace provides support following surgery or an injury such as a muscle sprain or torn ligament by stabilising the healing area so the wearer can participate in weight-bearing activities. Leg braces come in different lengths and thicknesses, depending on how much stabilisation is needed. While some braces come with steel or plastic rods for even more stabilisation, more basic braces resembling women's stockings are available through pharmacies. However, building a basic leg brace is relatively simple, so it's not necessary to purchase one.
Cut five strips of leather an inch wide each. To determine the lengths, measure your leg's circumference in five different places, starting at the bottom of your calf and ending at the middle of your thigh, making sure to leave equal space between each measurement. Do not measure around the knee. Once you have these measurements, add three to four inches to each; this is the length your leather strips will need to be.
Use the same measurements from the bottom of your calf to the middle of your thigh to cut a section of leather. This will make up the body of your leg brace. Leather is a sturdy material that provides stability, yet also has enough give to allow a wearer to move around comfortably.
Wrap the leather around your leg, positioning the edges so that they run parallel to the outer side of your leg. Holding the material in place, use a marker to draw a circle at the knee. Remove the material and place it on a flat surface to cut out the knee hole using a box cutter.
Use the marker and measuring tape to make five horizontal lines at equal distances from each other on the leather. These lines should correspond with the leg measurements you took when cutting the leather strips in Step 1.
Apply lines of glue at the five locations, then attach the leather strips One end of the strip should line up perfectly with the edge of your leg brace material. The other end should go beyond the other edge of the leg brace, since you cut them to be longer than the leg brace material.
Turn the end of the fastening strips that stick out beyond the leg brace material so that the sides previously facing down are facing up. Glue a 1-by-2 inch piece of Velcro material to each end; glue another like-sized piece on the other edge of the brace where the strips end. When the glue is dry, pick up the brace, wrap it around your leg and Velcro it securely in place.
There are many types of leg braces; this is a simple leather one. Making a steel-reinforced brace will require significantly more work and power tools. However, such braces are only necessary for severe injuries, in which case, individuals should talk to a doctor about whether a cast is more appropriate.
Tips and warnings
- There are many types of leg braces; this is a simple leather one. Making a steel-reinforced brace will require significantly more work and power tools. However, such braces are only necessary for severe injuries, in which case, individuals should talk to a doctor about whether a cast is more appropriate.