By Jordana Bieze Foster
Knee bracing is associated with altered knee kinematics and kinetics during dynamic loading tasks in individuals with lateral knee osteoarthritis (OA) up to 20 years after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, and these effects could help slow OA progression, according to research from the University of Melbourne in Parkville, Australia.
Investigators analyzed 27 individuals who had undergone ACL reconstruction five to 20 years earlier and had subsequently developed symptomatic and radiographic lateral knee OA; all participants also demonstrated valgus malalignment. The participants performed hopping, stair ascent, and stair descent trials with no brace and while wearing an unloader-type knee brace.
Brace wear was associated with significantly greater knee flexion and adduction than the unbraced condition during all three tasks. Bracing was also associated with greater knee flexion and adduction angular impulses and knee stiffness during hopping, knee adduction moments during stair ascent, and flexion moments during stair descent, compared with the unbraced condition.
The findings were epublished in early January by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Hart HF, Crossley KM, Collins NJ, Ackland DC. Bracing of the reconstructed and osteoarthritic knee during high dynamic load tasks. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2017 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]