Bracing versus nonbracing in rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a randomized prospective study with 2-year follow-up

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2001;9(2):102-8. doi: 10.1007/s001670000192.


This study prospectively randomized 62 patients to rehabilitation programs either with or without postoperative brace for 6 weeks following bone-tendon-bone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The nonbraced group had a smaller knee circumference 2 weeks after surgery. At 6-month follow-up the nonbraced group had a better Tegner score. At 2 years there was no difference between the groups. There was one partial rupture of the graft in the nonbraced group after a new trauma 1 year after surgery. There were no differences between the groups in either subjective or objective knee stability at 2 or 6 weeks or at follow-up 3, 6, and 24 months after surgery. This study found no benefit of using a postoperative knee brace on patients' knee function at any stage up to 24 months after surgery. Furthermore, the braced group was not more stable than the nonbraced group, indicating that the brace does not contribute to a more stable knee during rehabilitation or 2-year follow-up.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Braces*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rupture