Knee braces

All of the medical studies I have read pretty much all state "Knee braces do NOT protect healthy knees but do seem to show some level of protection for compromised(weak, injured) knees".

Why is it the advertising for these knee braces seems to purport something else? Why does it seem the establishment in dirt biking seems to be pushing braces. Is it just advertising $$ talking? I see this as a very dangerous position to be taking on part of 'the establishment'.

What do you say?

-Dr. Bill Malec

Dangerous? How so?

It's kinda like them saying "These heart medications are good for you". They are making medical recommendations with no medical background. Could be construed as practicing medicine without a license. In this day and age of liability I don't understand this knee brace push as of late especially when the studies seem contrary to their use.

Now. You have to be able to read between the lines of medical studies. If you read a study that has been underwritten(ie: paid for) by the company that sells the product, obvioulsly you have to use some of your own judgement there.

We are eight months into a prospective study comparing the rate of knee injuries in braced and ubraced riders.

Stay tuned for the final results in the late Spring of 2009

I look forward to it. I will admit the studies I have read have been mostly of football-related injuries. I would love to see a study that (accurately) represents dirt bike injuries and is NOT underwritten by a knee brace company.

As you well know from Continuing Education seminars people become a little afraid to bash the hand that feeds them :busted:

I will also admit to a torn ACL while not wearing a brace(hyperextension). ACL has been replaced with a donor tendon and rehabbed. I feel it is now stronger than the other knee. I wore a brace for a year while riding after it was rehabbed(9 months after surgery for one year after that). I do not currently use one. I also snow ski at an expert level and do not have a conscious thought(any longer) about my knee. That took about 2 years to get over that.

I are ain't no Dr and I don't pretend to be no Dr (other than the time I cut a wart out of my thumb), but I understand liability & risk (pretty damn basic concepts really).

There are (2) basic issues:

#1: promoting the product and potential benefits coupled w/ the injury mitigation factor

#2: do the devices provide enough support to actually be effective in what they're set out to do

My thoughts:

Issue #1: I'm a big enough boy to know that I assume all risks involve in everything that I knowingly participate in. If I want to run snake oil cuz some dude said it would make me faster, I do it @ my own risk. If I jack my knees up because of not wearing braces or even while wearing braces, my take is there was/is no promise. Others in this world don't work like that though.

TO ME, it's irrelevant that there's no medical background (there may be... I honestly don't know). I understand the mechanics of the devices and see the potential benefit they could provide.

Issue #2: Do they work? I know there are folks on here who cry about them being useless, etc. While I have no factual data I'm sure they've saved someone's bacon in the past - lots of someones.

I was just on the asterisk site and I didn't see any disclaimers nor did I see anything about a team of medical professionals being involved. Not sure who has their back, but I'm sure they have "a way out" of litigation.

Honest question: How would having an MD backing their product lessen their risk exposure? Frankly, I think it could increase it significantly i.e. "but... their DR said blah blah blah..."

I did not visit the DonJoy site. Those guys are huge into knee "protection". My guess is that they do have some MDs backing their shiz. I could be wrong.

We are eight months into a prospective study comparing the rate of knee injuries in braced and ubraced riders.

I started into joining that some time ago. I bailed on something that just didn't suit me (honestly forgot what it was).

What if all the participants:

#1: use some brand of brace?

#2: don't sustain a knee injury?

#3: didn't wind up in a situation where knee injury was a high risk?

If all of the above hold true (and they would have in my case thus far), I can't see your study providing any more data than if it had not been conducted. Maybe there's more in there that I missed once I bailed out. :busted:

You sound like an informed and intelligent person. You are NOT the norm from what I have seen of the typical knee brace wearer. It seems they are almost a fashion statement of late and you "can't tell these folks anything" if you know what I mean.

Simply Google "knee brace study" or "knee brace studies" and read. It's like watching paint dry but once you get good at sifting thru the "medical study jargon" and B.S. you will soon learn 90% of what is in it is there to make the study sound important and what you want to read is from the point they state "In summary.........................................." and on.

Thanks for a civil discussion because, believe me, people are quite fanatical when it comes to this idea..............almost to the point of sounding like an Amzoil distributor :busted:

You sound like an informed and intelligent person.

I ain't got me no degree though, so in my world (engineering & construction) I'm a nothing! :moon: (flat out amazing how many degreed engineers I clean up behind though). :busted:

You are NOT the norm...

My wife would completely agree w/ you.

Thanks for a civil discussion because, believe me, people are quite fanatical when it comes to this idea..............almost to the point of sounding like an Amzoil distributor :p

Fanatical I'm not, but I sure can get "passionate" about stuff especially when it's priciple-based. I'm sure, like everyone, I get hung up on "my view of what's right". Age has a way of helping you look around before publicly stating those views!

I'm not trying to bash Dr. Mark's study either - not even close. I for one feel strongly that there are mechanical benefits to knee braces. I arrive at that conclusion knowing a bit about mechanical principles not thru medical knowledge.

You sound like an informed and intelligent person. You are NOT the norm from what I have seen of the typical knee brace wearer. It seems they are almost a fashion statement of late and you "can't tell these folks anything" if you know what I mean.

With all due respect doc I'm a bit upset by that statement. I wear knee braces because if there is any chance they will help, I want that advantage. I didn't buy my Asterisks becasue of vanity I bought them because they looked to be the best. Again, any extra advantage to me I'll take. I wear a chest protector, neck brace (not a Leatt), kidney belt, helmet, boots and gloves. Oh ya, I'm 44 years old with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Again, if there is a .1% advantage, to my health, I'll take it. If I'm not mistaken, one of the major problems a patient has in the hospital is infection, but everything is sterilized. You do still use sterilized instruments don't you?

all I know is that ive been riding all my life and Ive been wearing cti2 knee braces which most every pro rider in motocross uses and have crashed so many times I cant remember them all but I can say that I WILL NOT RIDE WITH OUT THEM!. they have saved my knees so many times. they are very expensive if your insurance dont cover them like 3k expensive. Riding with out them just makes no sence to me. The only problem you might have is breaking your femur which I have done and sucks! or your fib and tib. which I have also done but they are bones and can heal. I would much rather break them than my knee. Might sound stupid but thats my opinion. There is a reason that ricky charmichael, james stewart, chad reed, mcgrath, and many many more use them. NOW WHY WOULD THE BEST RIDERS IN THE WORLD USE THEM? Id like to hear your response to that!!!

Asterisk sure is purdy though aint they? lol I wear them because I don't like falling down and hitting my knees on things. So far they are the best knee protection I have used.

I blew out my ACL wearing a pair of EVS visions. I bought them becasue they were cheap and that is what I got. Asterisks are worth every penny and yes they are purdy

asterisks are good if you cant afford the cit2's..and you dont want to skimp out on them..and yes I dont want to fall straight down on a rock! being as they are every where

I blew my acl out in May while wearing my cells...It happens more than we realize. Still, I wouldn't ride without them.

In my opinion, our study is simple and quite elegant.

We have so many braced hours in the saddle.

We hae so many unbraced hours in the saddle.

We need to sift through the internet results to figure out what injuries are serious such as ACL injury, and what ones aren't such as sprain that required two or three Advils

Then we will have determined the risk of knee injuries with braces and without braces.

Our study is backed by my money. Not Donjoy, not Asterick. Not nobody.

For what it's worth Dr. Mark, I am participating in your study but even if the study concludes that the braces don't stop knee issues, I will still wear em.

I've seen 4 broken femur on 3 mx riders this season. One of them has been very close to death. He was in a self inducted comma for months due to some kind of "cereblal fat embolism" caused by breaking both femur. They broke ALL in the same place, where the upper brace goes. For me it is proven that a femur injury can kill you or put you very close to death. I got rid of my CTIs long ago thanks to info posted on this forum. I don't regret.

simple fall on a rock and i got this

Picture090.jpg

bought a pair of asterisk braces , had similar falls and worse with no damage at all...my vote is for braces

simple fall on a rock and i got this

Picture090.jpg

bought a pair of asterisk braces , had similar falls and worse with no damage at all...my vote is for braces

you could have worn knee guards and they would have saved you just as much as knee braces if it was a direct impact to the petella. I wear CTI's but you do always here about the broken femer from them...

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