EFFECTS OF FUNCTIONAL KNEE BRACES ON NEUROMUSCULAR ADAPTATION IN ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURED PATIENTS

  • Hsiu-Chen Lin
  • Tung-Wu Lu
  • Horng-Chang Hsu
  • Shu-Ya Chen
Keywords: knee brace, ACL injury, gait analysis, electromyography

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Neuromuscular adaptation in the lower extremity has been found in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injured patients, with mechanical and electromyographic alterations such as reduced knee extensor moment and power, increased hamsrings muscle activity, and decreased muscle strength (Berchuck, Andriacchi, Bach, & Reider, 1990; DeVita, Lassiter, Hortobagyi, & Torry, 1998). Functional knee bracing has been a common method to enhance functional knee stability in these patients for the past three decades. However, the long-term effects of knee bracing on ACL-reconstructed (ACL-R) patients have not been reported in the literature. There is thus an urgent need to identify the effects of bracing on the gait displayed by these patients.