Medline ® Abstract for Reference 186
of 'Anterior cruciate ligament injury'
Prophylactic knee bracing in college football.
Rovere GD, Haupt HA, Yates CS
Am J Sports Med. 1987;15(2):111.
We report on the number of knee injuries sustained by a major college football team during 2 full years when all players were required to wear laterally placed prophylactic knee braces during all practice sessions and all games. We found that the incidence rates of knee injuries were higher when the braces were worn compared to a similar period when the braces were not worn. There was also an increased number of ACL injuries during the brace period. Several indices characterizing the nature of the injuries were analyzed and were found not to be altered significantly when the prophylactic braces were used. These facts lead us to question the efficacy of prophylactic knee braces in preventing knee injuries in college football. The use of the braces was associated with increased episodes of muscle cramping in the triceps surae muscle group, required the constant attention of coaches and trainers to remind the players to wear the braces and to apply them correctly, and was costly. These findings indicate the need for other carefully controlled clinical and biomechanical studies of these devices before their routine use can be advocated.