The effect of knee braces on tibial rotation in anterior cruciate ligament-deficient knees during high-demand athletic activities.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are very common with around 200,000 tears occurring per year in the US and resulting in 80-90,000 surgical repairs. But not all patients elect to get surgery yet they still want to stay relatively active. Excessive tibial rotation is commonly seen in both ACL-deficient and ACL-reconstructed knees and is thought to predispose to early-onset osteoarthritis.
The authors wanted to see if knee braces can restrict tibial rotation in ACL-deficient knees during high loading activities, thus providing more stability. They recruited 21 males with unilateral ACL tears and similar demographics, and using an 8 camera system they observed knee motion during walking, descending stairs and pivoting while wearing a prophylactic brace; patellofemoral sleeve and then unbraced.
They found that although bracing reduced tibial rotation in ACL-deficient knees, it couldn’t fully restore normative values. They did observe less tibial rotation with a brace compared to unbraced condition and proposed that wearing a knee brace could have potential benefit in patients with ACL-deficient knees, especially in high-demand athletic activities. They also found that the simple knee sleeve did not restore tibial rotation to the same extent as the brace, but it was still better than unbraced results. > From: Giotis et al., Clin J Sport Med 23 (2013) 287-92. All rights reserved to Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
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