This trial was conducted to compare postoperative outcomes in patients using an ACL functional knee brace and patients using a neoprene knee sleeve. 150 patients were randomized to receive a brace or neoprene sleeve at their 6-week postoperative visit after primary ACL reconstruction with hamstring autograft. Patients were assessed preoperatively, then 6 weeks and 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. There were no significant differences between brace and sleeve groups for any of the outcomes at 1- and 2-year follow-ups. Subjective ratings of confidence in the knee provided by the brace/sleeve were higher for the brace group than the sleeve group. Subgroup findings were minimal. Adverse events were few and similar between groups.
A functional knee brace does not result in superior outcomes compared with a neoprene sleeve after ACL reconstruction. Current evidence does not support the recommendation of using an ACL functional knee brace after ACL reconstruction.
The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2008, 36, 648-655