The shell of the Ultra Zoom will never crack, break or tear but after 2-3 years of wear and tear the hinge may become too loose to provide adequate support. To test the hinge, place one hand on the top of the brace and the other hand on the bottom of the brace and push and pull the brace back and forth. If you can see a lot of extra movement in the hinge area, then replacing the brace is recommended to regain stability.