ABSTRACT Context: Functional knee braces (FKB) are used prophylactically and in rehabilitation to aide in the functional stability of the knee joint. Objective: To determine if alterations in sagittal plane lower extremity kinematics remain evident throughout a one hour period in healthy individuals. Design: 2X5 repeated measures design. Setting: Biomechanics Laboratory. Subjects: Twenty subjects (14 male and 6 female, mean age 26.5±7 yrs; height 172.4±13 cm; weight 78.6±9 kg), separated into braced (B) and no brace (NB) groups. Intervention: A one-hour exercise program divided into three 20 minute increments. Main Outcome Measures: Synchronized three-dimensional kinematic data were collected at 20-minute increments to assess the effect of the FKB on select lower extremity joint kinematics. Results: Hip, knee and ankle joint position were not significantly affected by time (exercise). However significant decreases in hip (p = .05) and knee flexion (p < .05) were noted in the B group compared to the NB group regardless of time while ankle joint position was unaffected. Conclusions: Hip and knee flexion angles were reduced in the B group compared to the NB group, while ankle joint position was not affected. Wearing a knee brace appears to not only influence knee joint position but also hip joint position. It is possible that repetitive changes to hip joint kinematics may be detrimental to hip and low back function and thus lead to injury.
Campbell, B., Cipriani, D., & Yaggie, J. (2007). Influence of a functional knee brace and exercise on lower extremity kinematics during jogging. Clinical Kinesiology, 61(2), 7-13.
American Kinesiotherapy Association