The effect of bracing on proprioception of knees with anterior cruciate ligament injury

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2002 Jan;32(1):11-5. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2002.32.1.11.


This paper is a comprehensive review on the effect of bandaging, bracing, and neoprene sleeves on knee proprioception following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction with a focus on studies that have measured joint position sense and threshold to detection of passive knee motion. Disruption of the ACL does not appear to alter joint position sense soon after injury, although there is evidence that in some subjects deterioration may occur over time. An ACL tear creates a deficit in the threshold to detection of passive knee motion soon after injury and in those with chronic tears. The magnitude of worsening is less then 1.0 degree of movement in flexion-extension and of questionable concern from a clinical and functional perspective. Application of a functional brace or neoprene sleeve to the ACL-deficient limb does not improve the threshold to detection of passive knee motion; however, application of an elastic bandage to a knee with an ACL tear improves joint position sense. Reconstruction of a torn ACL is associated with a deficit in the threshold to detection of passive knee motion, and during the first year of healing the use of a neoprene sleeve provides improvement. Two years following ACL reconstruction there is no deficit in the threshold to detection of passive knee motion and the use of a brace has no effect on this outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiopathology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Bandages*
  • Braces*
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / physiopathology
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Knee Injuries / therapy*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Neoprene
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rupture
  • Sensory Thresholds


  • Neoprene