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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biophysics - Biotechnology - Geriatrics - Physics - Physiology

The Effects of a Prophylactic Knee Brace and Two Neoprene Knee Sleeves on the Performance of Healthy Athletes: A Crossover Randomized Controlled Trial
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Author: Niyousha Mortaza et al.

by Niyousha Mortaza, Ismail Ebrahimi, Ali Ashraf Jamshidi, Vahid Abdollah, Mohammad Kamali, Wan Abu Bakar Wan Abas, Noor Azuan Abu Osman

Knee injury is one of the major problems in sports medicine, and the use of prophylactic knee braces is an attempt to reduce the occurrence and/or severity of injuries to the knee joint ligament(s) without inhibiting knee mobility. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of one recently designed prophylactic knee brace and two neoprene knee sleeves upon performance of healthy athletes. Thirty-one healthy male athletes (age?=?21.2±1.5) volunteered as participants to examine the effect of prophylactic knee brace/sleeves on performance using isokinetic and functional tests. All subjects were tested in four conditions in a random order: 1. nonbraced (control) 2. using a neoprene knee sleeve 3. using a knee sleeve with four bilateral metal supports and 4. using a prophylactic knee brace. The study design was a crossover, randomized, controlled trial. Subjects completed single leg vertical jump, cross-over hop, and the isokinetic knee flexion and extension (at 60, 180, 300°/sec). Data were collected from the above tests and analyzed for jump height, cross-over hop distance, peak torque to body weight ratio and average power, respectively. Comparisons of these variables in the four testing conditions revealed no statistically significant difference (p>0.05). The selected prophylactic brace/sleeves did not significantly inhibit athletic performance which might verify that their structure and design have caused no complication in the normal function of the knee joint. Moreover, it could be speculated that, if the brace or the sleeves had any limiting effect, our young healthy athletic subjects were well able to generate a mean peak torque large enough to overcome this possible restriction. Further studies are suggested to investigate the long term effect of these prophylactic knee brace and sleeves as well as their possible effect on the adjacent joints to the knee.