Do knee braces help after knee surgery? Do knee braces prevent knee injury?
There are many types of knee braces, there is Prophylactic Braces, Functional Braces, Rehabilitative Braces, and Unloader braces.
Each are said to help with knee injury's but can any of them help prevent injury's or aid in the healing process for current injury's? The knee is the largest joint in the body, and is one of the most easily injured. There are many types of knee injuries, from a torn ACL to a simple sprain. Knee braces are used for added support to a pain or injured knee, they are most commonly recommended after surgery to the knee itself. But could knee braces help prevent these from occurring and are they necessary after surgery?
A very common knee injury in athletes is a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), it is cause by either rapidly changing direction, abrupt stops, or from landing on it incorrectly after jumping or falling. A torn ACL will almost always require surgery after the tear takes place. After surgery a knee surgeon will most likely recommend wearing a knee brace for a period of time. We have found possibly the best knee surgeon in Wollongong when it comes to ACL repairs for sports injuries. Be sure to check out www.bestkneesurgeon.com.au/nsw for more info.
After surgical ACL reconstruction a knee brace will not significantly prevent against injury during or after recovery. Is a knee brace necessary after surgery? It is not, light knee exercises and physical therapy and starting it early will aid the knee and begin a faster recovery than a knee brace.
A knee sprain is another common knee injury. A knee sprain occurs from unnatural movement of the joint during physical activity or direct hits to the joint. In this case a knee brace will help for a rapid recovery along with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. A knee brace will not prevent this type of injury from occurring, but will help will the healing process.
In both cases of a torn ACL and a knee sprain there is no consistent evidence on whether or not a knee brace could actually prevent these injury's from occurring.
One study showed a knee brace reduced the rate of injury to the MCL (the interior-knee counterpart of the ACL). Another study reported an increase in knee ligament injuries if braces were worn during physical activity, there is some evidence however that wearing a patellofemoral knee brace during running can help prevent the development of knee pain.
In conclusion, do knee braces help after surgery or prevent injuries?
In most cases they do not.
A knee brace is recommended for added support after most injuries your physician or knee surgeon will recommend the right brace for your particular injury. But most cases indicate that a knee brace only limits your movement causing the knee to not be able to stretch and rotate as it needs to properly strengthen and recover the joint from injuries. Doing hip, leg, and knee exercises to strengthen the muscles and joints will greatly help in preventing and injury's from occurring. Limiting the amount of strain the put on the knee joint will also prevent injuries from occurring and will also aid in the healing process and prevent further injury from taking place.