Knee braces: current evidence and clinical recommendations for their use

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jan 15;61(2):411-8, 423-4.


Methods of preventing and treating knee injuries have changed with the rapid development and refinement of knee braces. Prophylactic knee braces are designed to protect uninjured knees from valgus stresses that could damage the medial collateral ligaments. However, no conclusive evidence supports their effectiveness, and they are not recommended for regular use. Functional knee braces are intended to stabilize knees during rotational and anteroposterior forces. They offer a useful adjunct to the treatment and rehabilitation of ligamentous knee injuries. Patellofemoral knee braces have been used to treat anterior knee disorders and offer moderate subjective improvement without significant disadvantages. Additional well-designed studies are needed to demonstrate objectively the benefits of all knee braces. Knee braces should be used in conjunction with a rehabilitation program that incorporates strength training, flexibility, activity modification and technique refinement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Braces* / classification
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / prevention & control
  • Joint Instability / rehabilitation
  • Knee Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Knee Joint*
  • Ligaments, Articular / injuries