The use of a pneumatic leg brace in soldiers with tibial stress fractures--a randomized clinical trial

Mil Med. 2004 Nov;169(11):880-4. doi: 10.7205/milmed.169.11.880.


Study design: Single blind randomized controlled replication study.

Objectives: Evaluate the effect of a pneumatic leg brace on return-to-activity and pain in soldiers with tibial stress fractures.

Methods and measures: Thirty-one subjects diagnosed with tibial stress fractures were randomly assigned to either a brace or control group. Dependent variables included time to pain-free single-leg hopping, visual analog pain scale, and time to a pain-free 1-mile run. Twenty subjects (10 brace, 10 control) completed a detailed functional progression culminating in a 1-mile run.

Results: There was no difference between groups for time to pain-free hop (p > 0.86; power = 0.43) and time to pain-free 1-mile run (p > 0.24; power = 0.92). Subjects in both groups experienced statistically significant improvements in pain measurements (p < 0.002), but no difference was found between groups (p > 0.93).

Conclusion: The current study demonstrated no added benefit of Aircast leg braces in the treatment of tibial stress fractures in the military training environment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Stress / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Stress / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Devices
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Tibia / injuries*