Biomechanical, functional and subjective assessment of a new functional knee brace for team sports

P. Volpi, G. Melegati, P. W. Cawley

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Biomechanical, functional and subjective evaluation of a new functional knee brace designed for use in team sports is described. An MTS 810 servohydraulic materials testing system and a mechanical imitation of the right lower limb were used to carry out a biomechanical comparison of the new 'Intrepid' and the 'Playmaker' knee brace both by Smith and Nephew DonJoy (Carlsbad, California), and a conventional knee taping commonly employed in sport, in the control of anterior tibial translation and valgus displacement. Functional evaluation of the Intrepid was accomplished with the aid of top-level footballers who carried out the following tests: 40-yard dash, figure-of eight run, 20-yard carioca. The Intrepid was evaluated subjectively by 26 men and 6 women with ACL deficiency during the performance of a battery of tests involving activities associated with day-to-day life, and others responsible for the development of high shearing forces or rotational moments. The biomechanical results showed that all three devices increased posteroanterior stability by comparison with the unbraced mechanical limb, and that the Intrepid was statistically superior to the other two. All three devices were also superior to the unbraced mechanical limb with regard to valgus displacement, though here the Playmaker (a neoprene brace with lateral bars) was statistically superior, and there was no significant difference between the other two. No significant difference between the braced and unbraced results emerged from the functional evaluation tests. The subjective improvements conferred by the new brace in all the tests ranged from 3.3 to 188%, and were most marked in the activities involving high shearing forces or rotational moments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Traumatology and Related Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • functional knee brace
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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