Effect of wearing a knee brace or sleeve on the knee joint and anterior cruciate ligament force during drop jumps: A clinical intervention study

Knee. 2018 Dec;25(6):1009-1015. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2018.07.017. Epub 2018 Aug 16.


Background: Knee braces are considered to be extremely useful tools in reducing the shear force of knee joints for non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention. However, the effectiveness of sports knee braces and sleeves remains to be identified. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of wearing commercialized sports knee braces and sleeves on knee kinematics, kinetics, and ACL force during drop jumps using musculoskeletal modeling analysis.

Methods: Musculoskeletal modeling analysis was conducted on 19 male alpine skiers who performed drop jump motions from a 40-cm box under three conditions: without a brace/sleeve, with a brace, and while wearing a neoprene sleeve.

Results: The physical performance (i.e., the center of mass of the jumping height) was not affected by the type of brace or sleeve. However, wearing a brace or sleeve during drop jump tasks reduced the knee joint's maximum flexion, abduction angles, and adduction moment. The knee joint shear force when wearing the brace or sleeve exhibited no statistical differences. Further, the ACL load estimated in this study did not exhibit any statistical differences in relation to wearing a brace or sleeve.

Conclusions: The knee braces and sleeves reduced flexion and abduction movement, and adduction moment but did not reduce the knee joint shear force, internal rotation moment, or the ACL force. Therefore, if a sports knee brace that controls the knee joint's shear force and internal rotation moment is developed, it may aid in preventing ACL injuries.

Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); Biomechanics; Brace; Injury mechanism; Musculoskeletal modeling.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiology*
  • Athletes
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Braces / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Knee Injuries / prevention & control
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Young Adult