Effect of bracing on the prevention of anterior knee pain--a prospective randomized study

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2004 Sep;12(5):434-9. doi: 10.1007/s00167-003-0479-z. Epub 2004 Apr 3.


There have been numerous reports about the use of knee braces to prevent traumatic knee injuries. Despite the frequent use of braces, very few prospective studies have been performed to study the effect of knee braces for preventing anterior knee pain syndrome (AKPS). The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a dynamic patellofemoral brace (On-Track System, dj Orthopedics) in the prevention of AKPS. 167 military recruits without history of knee pain were randomized into two groups prior to the start of their 6-week basic military training (BMT) program. The first group (brace group) consisted of 54 recruits who wore the braces for all physical activities during these 6 weeks. 113 recruits served as a control group, and followed the same 6-week strenuous training program. Chi square statistics (Fisher exact test) were used to compare the number of AKPS patients in the brace group and in the non-brace group. Our results indicated that recruits in the brace group appeared to develop significantly less anterior knee pain compared to the recruits in the control group (p=0.020). Out of the 54 recruits in the brace group, ten (18.5%) developed anterior knee pain during this study. In the control group (n=113), 42 recruits (37%) developed anterior knee pain. We conclude that the result of the present study suggests that the use of a dynamic patellofemoral brace is an effective way to prevent the development of anterior knee pain in persons undergoing a strenuous training program.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Belgium
  • Braces*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / complications
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / etiology
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome