Objectives Patients undergoing medial arthroscopic partial meniscectomy are at increased risk of developing and/or progressing knee osteoarthritis, with increased medial compartment load being a potential contributor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immediate effect of a valgus unloader knee brace on knee joint moments in patients following medial arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Design Within-participant design. Methods Twenty-two patients (age 35–55 years) who had undergone medial arthroscopic partial meniscectomy within the previous 8–15 months completed three-dimensional analysis of gait, forward lunge and one-leg rise during two conditions: with and without a valgus unloader knee brace. Outcome measures included the peak and impulse of the knee adduction moment and the peak knee flexion moment. Results The peak knee flexion moment increased during brace condition for forward lunge (mean difference [95% CI]) 0.54 [0.27–0.82] (Nm/(BW × HT)%), p < 0.001 and one-leg rise (mean difference 0.45 [95% CI 0.08–0.82] (Nm/(BW × HT)%), p = 0.022). No other significant differences were found between conditions in any of the included tasks. Conclusions A significant effect of the knee brace was detected in terms of an increase in peak knee flexion moment during the more demanding tasks such as forward lunge and one-leg rise. This increase implies enhanced stability of the knee provided by the brace, which may induce increased knee function and knee-related confidence during strenuous tasks. Future research is required to explore the structural implications.
Thorning, M., Thorlund, J. B., Roos, E. M., Wrigley, T. V., & Hall, M. (2016). Immediate effect of valgus bracing on knee joint moments in meniscectomised patients: An exploratory study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(12), 964–969. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.03.005