Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common, occurring in approximately 70,000 people annually in the United States alone. ACL tears are even more common among those who participate in contact sports like football and basketball and those who participate in certain recreational activities like jogging or hiking. For most patients, these injuries will heal on their own with rest and physical therapy, but for others, this isn’t the case, leaving them to consider surgery to treat their injury and prevent further damage to their knee joint.
What Does a Knee Brace Do?
You may have heard about or seen patients wearing knee braces for ACL injuries; however, this common treatment option has recently been questioned. The controversy lies in knee braces' role in a patient’s recovery process. Many specialists feel that braces are only helpful if worn after a patient has experienced significant damage to their ligaments, especially if patients have experienced other problems with the knee joint.
Why Wear a Knee Brace?
Knee braces are typically worn to protect any other ligaments from the forces placed on the knee joint during physical activity. When an ACL tear occurs, the knee joint is partially torn, causing additional damage to the surrounding ligaments - these include the ACL, patella tendon, quad tendon, and medial collateral ligament (MCL). These ligaments tend to stretch and tear more easily than other knee ligaments. Wearing a knee brace will provide added support to the knee joint when you return to full physical activity.
The following are the benefits of wearing a knee brace after ACL surgery:
1. Protect You if You Slip or Fall
If your knee joint is already unstable, it may be even more prone to injuries if you twist or fall while wearing a brace. While most people who have undergone ACL surgery are aware of their knee’s instability and how to prevent further injury, you may want to wear a brace if your present physical activity level is above your comfort zone.
2. Provide Stability During Physical Activity
Knee braces give the ACL-reconstructed knee joint added stability during physical activity. As mentioned before, many patients are able to recover and return to their previous activity level. However, even if you are in the rehab process and can only play a limited amount of sports with a brace, you may still benefit from extra support.
3. Allow Your Knee to Rest in a Good Position
Some patients may find that they cannot sit comfortably while they are wearing a brace. Others may experience additional pain when the kneecap is in an abnormal position, which can be alleviated by purchasing a knee brace with a high insertion point.
4. Provide Additional Support for Your Range of Motion
Most patients who have had surgery will experience some stiffness or weakness in their knee joint following the procedure. This can be alleviated by wearing a brace during rehab time, especially if you have a limited range of motion in your current position.
5. Prevent Muscle Strain on Your Knee
For those who are not ready to participate in a full rehabilitation regimen, you may find it beneficial to wear a brace during physical activity. This will help prevent additional strain on your ACL-reconstructed knee joint.
6. Maintain the Extension of the Leg
One of the most important benefits of wearing a knee brace after ACL surgery is that it will keep your knee in the proper position for extended periods of time. The brace can help increase stability, which will allow your leg to return to its normal length and provide you with additional support.
7. Offer Additional Protection for Your Knee
The ACL helps to control the movement of your knee, which is commonly referred to as knee stability. If you have had ACL surgery and you continue to wear a knee brace after your procedure, it will help reduce the amount of stress on the ligament. This may help prevent further damage or injury to your knee.
8. Protect Against Additional Injury
There is a general fear that if you remain physically active and have an ACL tear, you will further damage your ACL and the other surrounding ligaments. By wearing a brace, you can decrease your chance of experiencing damage to the joint.
Does Bracing Protect Your New ACL After Surgery?
While there is some debate on the necessity of wearing a brace to protect your new ACL after surgery, there are many different opinions. At present, there is no solid data that supports whether or not bracing helps improve your chances of successful ACL surgery. There are also no studies that show how bracing will help your body heal in the long run. In the end, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some patients may find that they feel more comfortable with knee braces, while others feel more comfortable without them. It is a good idea to talk to your physician about the pros and cons of wearing a brace as soon as possible following your procedure.
How Should You Wear a Knee Brace After ACL Surgery?
With the help of your physician, you can determine which kind of brace is best for you. In many cases, a patient will purchase their own knee brace after ACL surgery
and wear it during physical activity to improve the stability of their joint. Some patients wear braces when they practice sports, like basketball, volleyball, and soccer. The brace may help provide stability to their knee while they are in motion. In some cases, it may be beneficial to do a gradual return to activity while wearing a brace. If you wear the brace throughout physical activity, it is more likely that your ligaments will maintain their strength and support.
How Much Support Can You Expect From a Knee Brace After ACL Surgery?
There is typically no standard for how much support you should expect from your braces. Even if you have the best brace in the world, your knee may still be weak or unstable. If you feel that you need more support, it is a good idea to discuss your options with your physician. If he or she thinks that you need more support, he/she can refer you to a physical therapist or surgeon who can help assess what is going on with your body and provide additional advice. In order for the brace to provide adequate support, make sure that it fits properly and is made from high-quality material. AOFIT
is a company that has been selling products both to Chinese and international customers, and we are trading with customers in Europe and USA. Currently, AOFIT is the largest professional manufacturer in China. In addition, we provide customization services for those who need them. We provide DHL, EMS, UPS delivery services for products all over the world. Contact us for all your health-related product needs. We offer knee pain relief braces and other medical devices.