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Am J Sports Med. 1986 Jul-Aug;14(4):262-6.

Prophylactic knee bracing in college football.

Abstract

American football can be harmful to knees. In an attempt to reduce the number and severity of knee injuries, the intercollegiate football team at the University of Arizona (Pacific Ten Conference) has been using protective braces since 1981. Objective evaluation of the effectiveness of this program is the purpose of this study. All linemen, offensive and defensive, as well as linebackers and tight ends were considered to be the players at greatest risk and were required to use the braces. The brace used was the Anderson Knee Stabler. Each player at each practice session or game was counted as one exposure. During the 4 years of brace use, there were 28,191 exposures, while the control group numbered 29,293 exposures. The data were analyzed from the perspectives of days lost from practice or games, player's position, the type and severity of injury, and the rate of injury per 100 players per season. Players at risk showed no trend to change in injury rate. Of the players at risk, the type and severity of injury in nonbraced and in braced groups were similar. A significant finding in players at risk was a two-fold increase in knee ligament injury rate per 100 players when compared to rates for an entire team. The number of season-ending injuries remained unchanged. Practice time missed for third-degree medial ligament, and for medial meniscus injuries, was significantly lower in the braced group, but this was due to improved treatment techniques initiated in 1981. Seven NCAA rule changes, directed at reducing knee injuries, have been introduced since 1981.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

PMID:
3728777
DOI:
10.1177/036354658601400403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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