Lateral knee bracing effects on knee joint displacement of selected football players
Knee injuries are a big problem to all athletes, especially football players. In the early 1980', manufacturers developed protective knee braces. These braces, lateral knee braces, are used mainly by football players, especially the linemen. Several investigators have reported that the use of lateral knee braces prevents injury of the medial collateral ligament and give some protection to the anterior cruciate ligament. However, other investigations have opposed the lateral braces very strongly and believe that the brace does not prevent knee injuries, but even can lead to injury. To investigate the bracing effects on the knee joint displacement, 5 male subjects were tested with the Triax three-dimensional electro-goniometer. Each subject ran on a treadmill for 2 trials, one with the knee brace on and one without. The trials were compared for each subject in regards to knee flexion/extension, knee adduction/abduction and internal/ external rotation of the lower leg. The results of this study showed knee flexion/extension and internal/external rotation of the lower leg was not changed by the presence of the lateral knee brace. But in regards to adduction/abduction of the knee, which is responsible for the lateral joint line motion, there was a tendancy to move towards abduction. At the knee, this move towards abduction could produce a varus force that could cause movement at the lateral joint line.