An article published in the Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy (KSSTA) by Mayr et al in late 2013 concluded post-operative treatment with a stabilizing knee brace after ACL replacement showed no advantage over treatment without a brace at 4-year follow-up. The study allocated 64 patients into two groups. One group was instructed to wear a brace for the first six weeks following surgery while the other group was instructed not to. Both groups completed the same physical therapy protocol. The authors present the results of a clinical examination at 4 years following the index surgery as well as the measurements of various patient outcome scores. Eighty-one percent (n=52) of patients were examined at 4 years post-op. There was no significant difference between the two groups with the use of the IKDC 2000, the KT1000 device, and the Tegner and Lysholm activity scores. Interesting enough, the authors did demonstrate a better score in the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of pain during sports and strong physical activity subscale in the group allocated to not use a brace (p=0.015). Do you use a brace after surgery with your patients?
Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106, Freiburg, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org.