The effect of knee bracing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. A prospective, randomized study with two years' follow-up

Am J Sports Med. 1999 Jan-Feb;27(1):76-83. doi: 10.1177/03635465990270012101.


The purpose of this prospective, randomized, clinical trial was to evaluate the effect of knee bracing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Sixty patients were randomized into one of two groups: Patients in the braced group wore rehabilitative braces for 2 weeks, followed by functional braces for 10 weeks, and patients in the nonbraced group did not wear braces. Data were recorded preoperatively, and postoperatively after 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months, and 1 and 2 years. The following outcome measures were used: KT-1000 arthrometry, the Cincinnati knee score, goniometry to record range of motion, computed tomography to determine thigh atrophy, Cybex 6000 isokinetic testing to evaluate muscle strength, three functional knee tests, and a visual analog scale to evaluate pain. At all follow-up times there were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to knee joint laxity, range of motion, muscle strength, functional knee tests, or pain. However, the Cincinnati knee score showed that patients in the braced group had significantly improved knee function compared with patients in the nonbraced group at the 3-month follow-up, even though the braced group showed significantly increased thigh atrophy compared with the nonbraced group at 3 months.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Braces*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome