Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Knee Braces - Arguments Against?

Recommended Posts

Both my Doctor and Physical Therapist say "It has been shown" that knee braces do not protect your knee. That if anything, they make matters worse by giving a false sense of security.

I told 'em "No way" and that everybody "swears by them" including myself ... and got a prescription for my second pair of CTI Braces. 'course I had busted the first CTI brace (and my knee) in my last crash.

Well, I'm sure most of you agree that knee braces are crucial. I am interested to hear arguments to the contrary though. Anybody got a good argument against knee braces?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. Anybody got a good argument against knee braces?

Yes, as a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon I think it is important that all dirt bike riders stop wearing any type of protection. Get rid of those knee braces, cumbersome motorcycle boots and helmets. Only sissies wear gloves and goggles. Just remember, if you need my services, feel free to call anytime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

only argument I have is the cost of the good ones. next they'll be saying we don't need helmets, as they don't really help either :naughty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard the argument that if you wear knee braces you will break other things, e.g. femur, tib/fib.. I have worn a CTi2 for about 9 years, crashed many times and the only thing I've fractured is my pelvis. But my knees have been fine. I guess they work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RJB, That was exactally what I was thinking, when I read this. What a false sense of security, my helmet gives me! When I smack a limb on the trail, it only sort of hurts...With out my helmet I'd be secure in knowing that it really HURT!

Seriously, one ACL reconsructuring in '89... From knee hyper-extension...A scope job later...I'm a firm believer in extra knee protection...I always wear neoprene wraps under both sides..Even in 100+ temp. The joint stays warm and is less prone to injury.

If I'm using my helmet, my chest protector and knee protection are the next safety gear used..Danno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought the Web Carbon Fiber braces for my son. They paid for themselves the first day he wore them when he crashed big time. Only knocks I have against them is they rub your tank/shroud graphics off and before he got an undersock to wear, they wore blisters on the backs of his legs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrecked my knee about a year ago, and now my knee bends backwards. Asterisks with the hyper-extension stops do the trick to keep it all moving in the right direction. :naughty:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Anyone who tells you different is smokin' crack. :naughty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had an ACL reconstruction a little over three months ago. I tried to get a scrip to get need braces and Doc said nope. He stated that they only support an unstable knee. I am with most and bought the Asterisk braces. If there is any chance of preventing an injury then I am all for them. Been out for 5 months and it sucks...Two months to get the knee ready for surgery and 3 post surgery... Still a couple weeks to go before I can think about riding...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience is that for a brace to work properly they have to be snug which causes fatigue to the muscles that support the knee. Instead of helping they can actually weaken the joint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have worn a CTi2 for about 9 years, crashed many times and the only thing I've fractured is my pelvis. But my knees have been fine. I guess they work!

sorry, but from the standpoint of science that doesn't mean they work. without a control (someone else doing the same crashes without knee braces) you can't draw any real conclusions from that statement. i've never worn knee braces, and i've been crashing bicycles, skis, snowboards and motorcycles all my life. no knee injuries (except for the tree branch stuck through my knee once in a mtn bike race, but i kept riding).

when my girlfriend tore her acl, there was zero lateral force on her knee. she simply landed a jump turn on skis with all her weight on 1 leg and the ligament tore. a knee brace would not have helped at all.

i'm not going to recommend against them, but i'm not going to use knee braces. i think it's alot more important to stay light and fit. you guys that don't ride bicycles might want to start, or lift a little weights, or both, to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that stabilize the knee.

you guys making a comparison to helmets are missing the mark. there is unassailable statistical evidence that helmets are an important safety item. there does not appear to be such evidence for knee braces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't wear braces when I ride. I've been riding for close to 15 years and never any damage to my knees from riding. I tore my miniscus though from simply standing up from a squating postion. No brace would have helped me. It just popped while standing and then I could no longer move my knee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sorry, but from the standpoint of science that doesn't mean they work. without a control (someone else doing the same crashes without knee braces) you can't draw any real conclusions from that statement. i've never worn knee braces, and i've been crashing bicycles, skis, snowboards and motorcycles all my life. no knee injuries (except for the tree branch stuck through my knee once in a mtn bike race, but i kept riding).

when my girlfriend tore her acl, there was zero lateral force on her knee. she simply landed a jump turn on skis with all her weight on 1 leg and the ligament tore. a knee brace would not have helped at all.

i'm not going to recommend against them, but i'm not going to use knee braces. i think it's alot more important to stay light and fit. you guys that don't ride bicycles might want to start, or lift a little weights, or both, to strengthen the muscles and ligaments that stabilize the knee.

you guys making a comparison to helmets are missing the mark. there is unassailable statistical evidence that helmets are an important safety item. there does not appear to be such evidence for knee braces.

Sorry, I was just giving an opinion. I didn't mention that I have had an ACL reconstruction, two scopes, arthritis and degenerative joint disease all in one knee. All this adds up to one weak, unstable joint. I hardly dare to start my bike without wearing a knee brace. I am supposed to wear my brace if I go walk aroud in a crowd of people. So, for weakened joints, they are worth their weight in carbon fiber, or gold....

ACL tears typically do not come from lateral force. They usually result from a force pushing forward on the back of the calf while the upper leg remains stable. The force tears the ligament in the knee. A ski boot is one of the perfect items to provide that force.

The only bad thing about knee braces is they destroy plastic and graphics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some doctors just like to spout off about their "opinions" like it is fact. I love when I see doctors on those reality series on Discovery smoking on their breaks. LOL, what could be more ridiculous than a doctor that smokes? Or some doctor that is 75 lbs overweight? Anyway, I can't see how wearing knee braces could be detrimental and even if it only actually works in certain instances, it is extra insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ACL tears typically do not come from lateral force. They usually result from a force pushing forward on the back of the calf while the upper leg remains stable. The force tears the ligament in the knee. A ski boot is one of the perfect items to provide that force.

so does a knee brace help prevent such injuries in an otherwise healthy knee? it seems to me like they are supposed to help with hyperextension and twisting. i dunno tho. sounds like in your situation a knee brace is pretty helpful.

mw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think they help with twisting, sideimpacts yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently recovering from a torn ACL and MCL and my doc told me not to ride without a brace. I opted not to go with either the CTI or the DONJOY - both made of plastic and both have crappy warranty’s. Picked up a Breg X2K unlimited, and truly believe that this brace could survive the harshest of get offs made of aluminum and has one hell of a thick patella guard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't think they help with twisting, sideimpacts yes.

I agree.

Twisting? Probably wouldn't help much if at all, since in order to prevent twisting the brace would have to be so tight that it would cut off circulation, not to mention that it would be very uncomfortable, would restrict movement, etc.

Side impacts? Yes, a well fit, custom brace will definitely help in side impacts imo. And of course with limiting flexion and extension (I think those are the terms - the amount of movement of your lower leg through the arc, how many degrees of movement).

I've blown out my knee I don't know how many times, and for me, its very painful. I mean extremely painful. So anything that I can do to avoid that pain, short of sitting at home all the time, I will do. That includes regular exercise and wearing a knee brace.

I had ACL replacement surgery years ago, plus 2 scopes on my right knee and always wear a custom fit CTi2 brace now. Its a sweet brace. Fits very well - which is key.

When I blew out my ACL, I was exercising regularly, was in great shape, was playing basketball, came down hard on one leg, the knee bent sideways from the force. I think a brace would have either prevented that injury or it would have lessoned the severity if there was something to prevent the extent of the motion like a brace.

Nowadays, I wear my brace whenever I ride. Thinking of getting another one for my good leg.

And as others have mentioned, exercise and strengthening the leg and joint is also key. A weak leg and joint in a brace is still at risk. A very strong leg and joint in a high quality, well fit brace is the way to go - for me.

I can see why some wouldn't wear one if they haven't had any knee problems, and I accept the argument that I may be risking breaking a bone intead of trashing my knee if I wear the brace, but for me, avoiding that knee blow out pain is paramount, so I'll take what I think is a small risk of breaking a bone in the event of a really nasty get off in order to avoid the more likely blow out scenario if I wasn't wearing a knee.

My knee is still pretty unstable so it doesn't take much to blow it out. And I think the knee brace is also a bit of a pyschological security blanket, and that's cool. It makes me feel safer when I strap it on. -Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am currently recovering from a torn ACL and MCL and my doc told me not to ride without a brace. I opted not to go with either the CTI or the DONJOY - both made of plastic and both have crappy warranty’s. Picked up a Breg X2K unlimited, and truly believe that this brace could survive the harshest of get offs made of aluminum and has one hell of a thick patella guard.

Not sure what CTi brace you looked at, but mine is a custom fit piece that is made of a carbon composite. It's very strong and super light. I've had a number of custom braces over the years and this is the best yet. Lots of MX guys are using the CTi2.

Its also got a lifetime warranty on the frame and joints (excluded the straps I guess?). Not sure what more you would need then that, especially given that you'll probably want to get a new brace every 3-5 years in order to assure the proper fit as you age, change lifestyles, whatever.

You can learn more about the Cti braces here: http://www.isports.com/by_cust.htm

I don't know anything about the Breg brace, but just wanted to make sure people understand that the CTi2 custom brace is a top quality piece of hardware, best on the market imo.

And regarding off the shelf knee braces, I would never buy one.

To may variables for fit, and with many insurance companies covering the cost of a custom brace, it may not be any cheaper to get an off the shelf brace if your ortho doc can prescribe a custom fit brace for you. -Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×