The efficacy of treatment of overuse patellofemoral pain with an elastic knee sleeve with a silicone patellar ring was compared with a simple elastic sleeve and with no treatment in a prospective study of 395 army recruits. During 14 weeks of basic training, 84 knees were diagnosed as having overuse patellofemoral pain. Recruits treated with a simple elastic knee sleeve had a statistically significant better comfort score and more had their pain resolved by the end of training than those treated with elastic knee sleeves with a silicone patellar ring. The mean pain score at the end of training decreased more among recruits who were treated with a simple elastic knee sleeve than among recruits who received no treatment, but this difference was not significant. Among the treatment options tried, the simple elastic knee sleeve was no more effective than no treatment at all, but it was more effective than the more elaborate patellar brace.