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The effect of proprioceptive knee bracing on knee stability after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Background Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is common among young athletes and can impact knee stability and control. Wearing proprioceptive knee braces can improve knee control and may reduce the risk factors associated with injury and re-injury, although the effect of such braces after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is unclear. Research question This study aimed to determine the effect of proprioceptive knee bracing on knee control and subjective rating of participants post ACLR during three dynamic tasks. Methods Fifteen participants 2–10 years post ACLR performed a slow step down, single leg drop jump, and pivot turn jump with and without a proprioceptive knee brace. Knee kinematics in the sagittal (flexion – extension), coronal (abduction – adduction), and transverse (internal – external rotation) planes were collected using a 3D infrared system. Paired t-tests were performed to explore differences in knee angles and angular velocities between the no brace and brace conditions during the three tasks. After each task, subjective ratings regarding ease of the task were recorded. Results The brace reduced the peak knee external rotation angle and range of motion in the transverse plane during the pivot turn jump task, and significantly increased the maximum knee flexion angular velocity during the single leg drop jump task. The majority of participants reported that tasks were easier to perform with the proprioceptive brace than without. Significance This study confirms that proprioceptive knee braces can significantly influence knee kinematics during dynamic tasks post ACLR. The observed effects were clinically relevant.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Hanzlíková, I., Richards, J., Hébert-Losier, K., & Smékal, D. (2019). The effect of proprioceptive knee bracing on knee stability after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Gait & Posture, 67, 242–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.10.026
Elsevier B.V.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Gait & Posture. © 2019 Elsevier.