Read More >
The ACL, MCL, PCL and LCL are the 4 main ligaments of the knee. The ACL and PCL attach the tibia to the femur in the centre of the knee joint. They are the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. They cross over each other as they are oppositely angled in the knee and therefore have opposing functions. The PCL’s function is to prevent backward (posterior) movement of the tibia relative to the femur. The ACL’s function is to prevent forward (anterior) movement of the tibia relative to the femur. The MCL and LCL are the medial and collateral ligaments of the knee and resist medial or lateral movement of the knee joint.
Injury to any ligament will cause its function to be impaired and therefore braces can be useful in the acute phase after injury to support the action of the ligament, stabilise the joint and allow the ligament to heal well as excessive stretching of the ligament is avoided. Different braces are needed depending on the level of injury and joint instability. The greater the instability with a PCL injury the great support will be needed to hold the tibia forwards.
This compression sleeve is ideal for those injuries with high swelling but low instability. Compression and elevation are the best way to reduce swelling. Compression is also an effective way of improving proprioception at a joint. Proprioception is the awareness of the joint position. Better awareness can improve the feeling of control and stability.
This hinged brace offers more stability than a compression sleeve, but still offers some compression, which can benefit swelling. The hinged structure provides better stability for the knee and is a good option for injuries with some instability. This brace can also be used for sport.
Bauerfeind is a high quality brand of braces and supports. This is a durable, hinged and compression option. This brace can be used for higher grade injuries that need more support for the joint’s stability, but still allows sufficient flexibility of the joint to participate in sports.
DonJoy is another leading brand for braces. This brace offers the most stability of all the braces we have recommended due to the length of the hinged arms either side of the joint and the double strap design for secure fit. This brace does not offer compression, but can be used over a separate compression sleeve if swelling is an issue.
This is not medical advice. We recommend a consultation with a medical professional such as James McCormack. He offers Online Physiotherapy Appointments for £45.