To brace or not to brace following ACLR?

Catherine Logan

November 26th, 2019

Research Update…
Risk of Secondary ACL Injury in Adolescents Prescribed Functional Bracing After ACL Reconstruction
SourceOJSM, first published November 12, 2019
Clinical Question: To brace or not to brace following ACLR?

Bottom Line:  Overall, highest retear rates were in males < 17yo. Overall contralateral ACL injury was 13% – with FEMALES having highest contralateral ACL injuries. Compared with unbraced cohort, the braced cohort had a lower overall graft retear rate (P=.028), a lower graft retear rate in patients < 18 yo (P=.012), lower EARLY graft retear rate w/in 1 year post-op (P=.011) + lower EARLY graft retear in patients < 18 yo (P=.003).  

Points to Consider: This is a Case Series (level 4 evidence). 219 patients <20 years s/p ACLR with 65% follow up rate at mean 5.6 years post op. Post-op functional bracing was prescribed during cutting and pivoting activities for 2 years.

Takeaway: Post-op functional bracing can result in REDUCED risk of graft retear & NO change in contralateral injury rates in adolescent patients. 

About the Author:
Catherine A. Logan, MD, MBA, MSPT is a sports medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon and writer. Based in Denver, CO, she is an attending at Colorado Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics at Rose Medical Center.. Dr. Logan is the Head League Physician for Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) member of the team physician pool for the US Ski & Snowboard teams each year. Dr. Logan completed her Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program and her Sports Medicine Fellowship training at the prestigious Steadman Philippon Research Institute/The Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO. Logan is also on the board of The Chill Foundation.