With the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) being one of four major ligaments in the knee, a proper knee support can help in recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery and is a recommended way to provide extra stability to the knee, give it time to heal and prevent further injury. Wearing a knee support after ACL surgery helps to control the motion of the knee joint and limits the range of motion around the knee, thus putting less load on the ACL. Patients generally find that psychologically, more than empirically, an ACL knee brace can help them maintain better balance.
The healing process following ACL surgery and reconstruction can take anywhere from eight to ten weeks and during this period the graft is in danger of rupturing. Many surgeons recommend that patients wear an ACL knee brace for a few weeks after surgery for a few reasons: the ligament needs time to heal, as a caution and reminder for you and others that you’ve had surgery, and peace of mind. Many patients simply feel better knowing there is an extra layer of protection around their knee, which psychologically puts their minds at ease.
Benefits Of An ACL Knee Brace
Knee Pain Info states that ACL knee braces are designed to reduce knee instability following injury and reconstruction and provide an improved sense of stability. In addition, an ACL knee support could also help prevent overcompensation by the healthy leg, in which a patient will tend to put more force or pressure on the healthy limb rather than the injured one. This may lead to further injury of a healthy ligament as well as misalignment of the spinal cord. A knee support can help to reduce this strain as well as provide support to both the medial and lateral sides of the knee.
Knee supports are also recommended for twisting, jumping or pivoting movements where the lateral forces on the knee put extreme stress on the ACL. A compression sleeve like the LP EmbioZ Leg Compression Sleeve, which is another type of knee support, has been shown to have benefits after an ACL reconstruction, significantly reducing the centre of pressure on the knee. A study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that wearing a compression sleeve improved the synchronisation of the balance control system and muscle coordination.
Which Type Of ACL Knee Support Is Best?
The type of support you require will depend on the orthopedic surgeon’s recommendations and whether you need an off the shelf or custom support. A patient should always discuss with his or her physician the benefits and drawbacks of using supports. At Dunbar Medical we provide knee braces for all types of injuries, including ACL injuries. These supports effectively protect knee ligaments after reconstruction and the rigid straps firmly anchor the support to the knee.
More professional athletes are opting to use knee supports when returning from ACL surgery. This is due in part to the fact that it puts their mind at ease and also to the fierceness and the intensity of professional sports. Ladbrokes states that injuries remain a major hazard in sport and can happen in the first or last minute of a match. To be able to return to full fitness and regain that fierce competitive edge, athletes need to fully recover and, most importantly, to feel fully confident in their abilities to perform. Wearing an ACL knee brace can provide that renewed confidence and help them return to top form.