A systematic review of prophylactic braces in the prevention of knee ligament injuries in collegiate football players

Brian G. Pietrosimone, Terry L. Grindstaff, Shelley W. Linens, Elizabeth Uczekaj, Jay Hertel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

30 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the relative risk reduction associated with prophylactic knee braces in the prevention of knee injuries in collegiate football players. Data Sources: An exhaustive search for original research was performed using the PubMed, SportDiscus, and CINAHL databases from 1970 through November 2006, with the search terms knee brace, knee braces, knee bracing and football, prophylactic brace, and prophylactic knee braces. Study Selection: Seven studies comparing knee injuries among braced and nonbraced collegiate football players were included. Study methods were assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale.PEDroscores rangedfrom2 to 5. Data Extraction: The number of participants and frequency of knee injuries were used to calculate the relative risk reduction or increase. Data Synthesis: We found a relative risk reduction for 3 studies with point estimates of 10% (36% to 226%), 58% (25% to 76%), and 56% (13% to 77%). Four studies demonstrated an increased risk of injury, with point estimates of 17% (19% to 271%), 49% (231% to 269%), 114% (23% to 2492%), and 42% (218% to 270%). Conclusions: Data from existing research are inconsistent. Based on a Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy level of evidence of 2 with a grade B recommendation, we cannot conclusively advocate or discourage the use of prophylactic knee braces in the prevention of knee injuries in collegiate football players.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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