PKBs and FKBs are designed to either reinforce or replicate the function of the ACL or other ligaments.
Findings regarding the influence of knee braces (PKBs and FKBs) on athletic performance are contradictory.
A prospective randomized multicenter study in a captive population (3 US service academies), evaluated efficacy of FKBs after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (36).
The Kocher and Sterett studies show a decreased knee injury rate with FKBs in ACLd and ACLr patients.
The current knowledge of FKBs cannot be directly extrapolated to PKBs in uninjured skiers, due to the lack of clinical studies regarding this specific issue.
For skiers, there is a protective effect of FKBs in preventing re-rupture of reconstructed ACLs and preventing further knee injuries on ACL-deficient knees.
One study evaluating activities like stair descending, pivoting, and landing from a platform and subsequent pivoting showed decreased excessive internal rotation in ACLd knees with use of FKB, but the brace did not fully restore values of a normal knee (10).
There are, to our knowledge, two clinical studies evaluating FKB in skiers.
In the Kocher study, 101 subjects decided to wear a FKB. Two of them (2%) suffered a subsequent knee injury, compared with 10 out 79 patients in the non-braced group.