Research on Vista, CA-based DJO Global’s varus unloader brace published in February suggests the device may improve abnormal knee joint mechanics associated with the development and progression of lateral knee osteoarthritis (OA) after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).
Investigators conducted 3D gait analysis on 19 participants who had undergone primary ACLR five to 20 years previously and had symptomatic and radiographic lateral knee OA and valgus malalignment.
Participants walked under three conditions: no brace; unadjusted brace (sagittal plane support with neutral frontal plane adjustment); and adjusted brace (sagittal plane support with varus adjustment). Compared with no brace, the adjusted brace significantly increased peak knee flexion angle and adduction angle and reduced peak internal rotation angle, as well as peak knee flexion moment, adduction moment, and external rotation moment. It also significantly reduced peak hip adduction angle and increased peak hip adduction and external rotation moments compared with no brace.
There were no significant differences between the adjusted and unadjusted brace conditions except for knee internal rotation angle, which was significantly reduced with the adjusted brace.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine epublished the findings on February 3.