Functional testing to determine readiness to discontinue brace use, one year after ACL reconstruction.

Authors:  Goodstadt N, Hunter-Giodano A, Axe M, Snyder-Mackler L

While the use of functional knee braces for return to sports or high level physical activity after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is controversial, brace use is still prevalent. In this study, all active patients in the authors’ practice are braced after ACLR and must pass a battery of sports tests before they are allowed to return to play in their brace. Criteria for return include a 90% score (as compared to uninvolved) on 4 one-legged hop tests, burst superimposition strength test, Knee Outcome Survey Activities of Daily Living Scale, and a global rating of knee function. The purpose of this study was to describe the use of criterion-based guidelines to determine if athletes who had undergone an ACLR function better with or without their functional brace, one year after surgery.

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