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Journal Article


Negrin R, Uribe-Echevarria B, Reyes N. Asian J. Sports Med. 2017; 8(4): e58678.


(Copyright © 2017, Tehran University of Medical Sciences)






BACKGROUND: Alpine skiing has high rates of knee injuries. Prophylactic knee braces (PKBs) and functional knee braces (FKBs) are often prescribed by clinicians to reduce injuries or re-injuries in skiers.

Objectives: This literature review evaluates current knowledge on the biomechanical and clinical effectiveness of prophylactic and functional knee braces in preventing knee injuries and their impact on the athletic performance of non-injured and injured individuals.

Methods: A literature review was performed to analyze the efficiency of knee braces concerning the reduction of mechanical stress, influence on muscle control, performance and injury prevention.

Results: Most of the available literature describes research on the use of knee braces in contact sports, specifically American football. In this context, several studies show braces to be more effective in preventing medial collateral ligament injuries than anterior cruciate ligament injuries in both cadaveric and clinical studies. The use of functional braces after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction has been supported and refuted in both postoperative and long-term studies. Ski-specific studies show a positive effect of knee braces on proprioception; no influence on performance; and a protective effect on previously injured skiers.

Conclusions: Current literature indicates PKBs may have a protective function in healthy patients, while influence on performance is minimal. Functional braces are recommended in ACL-deficient patients and are biomechanically effective under low-loading conditions. They may not be as effective in high-loading conditions, such as athletic activity. There is a protective effect of FKBs of preventing re-rupture of reconstructed ACLs and preventing further knee injuries on ACL-deficient knees in skiers. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of PKBs snow sports.

Keywords: Knee Injuries; Braces; Skiing; Snow Sports

Copyright: Copyright © 2017, Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

Language: en


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