The Prophylactic Knee Brace

This knee brace is designed to protect your knee from injury when you are playing contact sports and fits around your leg. This knee brace can incorporate bilateral or unilateral hinge designs. Bilateral means both sides and unilateral means only on one side. These braces are mainly comprised of straps with adhesives, bars, and hinges. When you have to wear a prophylactic knee brace will have to prevent or limit the severity of injuries to ligaments in your knee. Four of the main ligaments found in your knee include:

• Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-this ligament is found in the middle of your knee joint and is connected to your tibia and femur
• Medial collateral ligament (MCL)-this ligament is found the outside of your knee joint that faces your other knee and keeps your knee joint from bending outward
• Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)-this ligament is found on the outside of your knee and connects the femur to your fibula. It stops your knee from moving too much and gives it stability
• Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-this ligament works with your ACL to help prevent the tibia from moving out of alignment. It also prevents it from sliding backward under your femur.

Benefits of a prophylactic knee brace

• Absorbs impact forces that could cause damage
• Protects your ACL against damage from rotational forces during contact sports like football
• Decreases the force on your MCL

The length of the brace should be as long it can fit comfortably on your leg. The energy that affects your knee during a contact injury is dissipated differently when you are wearing either a bilateral or a unilateral brace. The dispersal of the force can prevent injury to one ligament but not on the others but it all depends on the motion that was involved. If you have had knee ligament injuries before you will always be at risk for another ligament injury. To help prevent this from happening you can wear such an equipment. The one drawback to wearing this brace when playing contact sports is that it can interfere with the athlete’s performance. It is possible that when they wear a knee brace that they could develop a false sense of security, making an injury possible if they are not careful. It could also cause an injury to the other players if they make contact with the brace.

An example of who might wear a prophylactic knee brace are defensive and offensive lineman during a football game. The reason is that they are a higher risk for having a knee injury. Some say that when they wear this type of knee brace if they suffer another knee injury is it less severe.