ACL injuries are common in athletes. Thankfully, many different types of braces are available to help prevent or treat these injuries, including prophylactic, functional, and rehabilitative braces. Each type of brace has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to understand the differences before making a decision about which one is right for you.
Let’s talk about the different types of braces for sports-related ACL injuries and where you can go in North Dakota for high-quality sports medicine care.
What Is an ACL Injury and Who Is at Risk for Them?
An ACL injury is a tear or rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, a ligament in the knee that helps stabilize the joint. These injuries are common in athletes, especially those who play sports such as football, basketball, and soccer. However, anyone can suffer from an ACL injury, regardless of age or activity level.
Who Is at Risk for an ACL Injury?
There are several factors that can increase your risk for an ACL injury. Some of these include:
-Playing sports that involve a lot of jumping and twisting motions
-Having weak muscles around the knee
-Having a previous history of ACL injuries
If you are at risk for an ACL injury, it is important to take steps to prevent them from happening. This includes wearing a brace whenever you participate in sports or other activities that put your knees at risk.
The Different Types of Braces Available to Help Prevent or Treat ACL Injuries:
Here are the three most common types of braces used to treat ACL injuries.
Prophylactic braces are designed to protect your knees from injuries before they happen. Preventing injury or disease before it happens is known as prophylaxis. Prophylactic braces are typically worn by athletes who are considered to be at high risk for an ACL injury. These braces work by restricting forward, backward, and rotational movement in the knee joint to prevent the ligament from twisting or bending too far.
Functional braces are designed to help people with existing ACL injuries continue participating in sports and other activities. These braces provide stability and support to the knee joint, allowing people to move more freely and without pain. For instance, many functional braces have hinges on the sides that restrict knee movement to face ranges of motion.
Rehabilitative braces are typically used when someone is recently recovering from an ACL injury or ACL repair surgery. They are designed to help people regain strength and flexibility in the knee joint while protecting the knee during the healing process.
How to Choose the Right Brace for You
The right brace for you depends on whether you are trying to prevent ACL injury, if you’re healing from an ACL injury, or you’re trying to re-enter your sport after spending time off to heal and need a brace that moves with you. If you are unsure which type of brace is right for you, talk to a doctor or physical therapist. They will be able to assess your injury and recommend the best course of treatment.
Sports-Related ACL Injury Treatment at The Bone and Joint Center
If you need a brace to prevent or support an ACL injury, consult the board-certified orthopedic physicians at The Bone and Joint Center. We have physicians on staff specializing in ACL injuries and surgeons specializing in ACL reconstruction.
To make an appointment with us today, call us at (800) 424-2663 or book an appointment online here. We look forward to seeing you soon!