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

Hanzlíková, I, Richards, James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4004-3115, Hébert-Losier, K and Smékal, D (2019) The effect of proprioceptive knee bracing on knee stability after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Gait & Posture, 67 . pp. 242-247. ISSN 0966-6362

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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.
The brace was supplied by DJO Global, Inc. The suppliers played no role in the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of the data or writing of this paper. We thank Mgr. Zuzana
Dvořáková, Mgr. Zdeněk Svoboda, PhD and Prof. RNDr. Miroslav Janura, Dr. for their
assistance with data collection and analysis.
Funding sources: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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