Knee Braces: Current Evidence and Clinical Recommendations for Their Use
SCOTT A. PALUSKA, M.D.,and DOUGLAS B. MCKEAG, M.D., M.S., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center–Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Am Fam Physician.�2000�Jan�15;61(2):411-418.
Knee Braces in Brief
A great majority of medical studies on knee bracing has been done to affirm or question the use of Functional and Prophylactic knee braces in athletes because of the high visibility and money interests involved in sports. Further if the braces were so effective for athletes, one could imagine what type of knee injury support it would provide for the patient with a considerably lesser risk for future trauma and need for the maximum support it provided in contact sports.
Knee braces and their functions can be briefly described as the following:
Do knee braces work?
Maybe. Companies that make knee braces claim that their products work well. Scientific studies have not completely agreed. It’s not clear what the knee braces actually do. Braces often work better in the laboratory than they do in normal use.
In general, functional braces, rehabilitative braces and unloader braces are the most effective. Braces help some people more than others. Some people are afraid that knee braces may actually increase the number of knee injuries in athletes. In general, most people who wear knee braces feel that they help. Doctors are trying to learn more about how well knee braces really work and when it’s best to use them. Remember, the need for a brace should be determined by your doctor.