AOSSM: Neoprene Sleeve Beneficial After ACL Surgery

Athletes who wear neoprene sleeves recover just as well as those who wear functional knee braces

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, there is no difference in recovery between those who use inexpensive neoprene sleeves and those who use expensive functional knee braces, according to the results of a randomized trial presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in Calgary, Canada.

Trevor Birmingham, Ph.D., P.T., of the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 150 athletes who had undergone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction to wear either a neoprene sleeve or a functional knee brace.

The researchers found that there were no significant group differences at one-year and two-year follow-up examinations.

"Based on our clinical experience, we were not completely surprised by the results," Birmingham said in a statement. "These findings provide strong evidence that the average patient does not require a functional knee brace when returning to sport after ACL reconstruction. There may be some patients who will benefit from a brace, and identifying these individuals requires further research. Until then, these decisions are left to the surgeon's discretion."

Abstract (P. 23)

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