April 12, 2011
Functional "Sport" knee braces
In dealing with sport related injuries it is important that you understand what the brace is being used for. The majority of sports injuries are soft tissue related. These injuries usually include ligaments or either the meniscus of the knee joint, many times the injury may include both. So how does this happen and how can we help to control knee injuries during sporting activities? Many of the injuries come from open chain kinematics such as landing from a jump, stopping from a run, and moving to the side (laterally). Other actions such as cutting or a rotation force can cause disruption to the meniscus with in the knee joint. There are many styles and types of knee braces on the market today! The best thing is to use a company that carries all of the different braces and allow a certified, licensed Orthotist to determine which manfacturer's brace is right for your particular need. No matter the brace style, the fit must be right! If the brace is not fit correctly, or if you cannot duplicate the fit through proper education in fitting, the brace will not work! There are many Internet based companies that sell knee braces, but they cannot replace the Orthotist!
So, back to the function of the brace, knee braces are designed to stop or decelerate forward motion of the tibia during the actions listed above. The knee brace should also help control the rotation of the knee, as well as side impact forces during sports such as football. If you look at the brace design it can tell you a great deal about its performance. Some braces are very hard (rigid), some are soft or flexible. Some braces have their frames form a rectangle, and others have a posterior and anterior portion that requires the patient to step into the brace, and surrounds the knee. Regardless of the design of the brace, they must be able to provide support to the joint! Many times the braces are used to support a knee that has already been injured and surgically repaired. Other times the brace is used as a preventive tool to prevent injury to the knee. If you are involved in sports and you feel that a knee brace might be the answer to your specific problems, come see the staff of Precision Medical Solutions and let them help you determine the best fit and function for you.