The Effect of Knee Braces on Quadriceps Strength and Inhibition in Subjects With Patellofemoral Osteoarthritis.

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    Study Design Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Background The use of external supports has been questioned because they may lead to weakness in the surrounding muscles. To our knowledge, there is no investigation into the effect of knee supports or braces on quadriceps muscle strength and quadriceps inhibition in individuals with PFJOA. Objective To investigate the effects of a flexible knee support on quadriceps maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) and arthrogenous muscle inhibition (AMI) in patients with patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (PFJOA). Methods 108 participants were included with at least 3 months of patellofemoral pain and a K-L score 2 or 3 for PFJOA. Each was randomized to wear a flexible knee support ('brace') or no support ('no brace') in a 6 weeks RCT, after which followed an open label trial with all participants wearing the brace for a total of 12 weeks. At the 6 and 12 weeks' time points quadriceps MVC was measured isometrically and quadriceps AMI was measured by twitch interpolation. Results After 6 weeks, MVC did not differ between the 'brace' and 'no brace' group (9.09Nm; 95% CI -4.89Nm to 23.07Nm, p = 0.20). AMI significantly decreased in the brace group (-8.62%; 95% CI -13.90 to -3.33%, p = 0.002). After 12 weeks of all participants wearing a flexible knee support, MVC increased by 7.98Nm (95% CI 2.52Nm to 13.45Nm, p = 0.004). AMI decreased by -8.42% (95% CI -11.48% to -5.36%; p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-25
    Number of pages6
    JournalThe Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • AMI
    • MVC
    • arthrogenous muscle inhibition
    • isometric strength


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