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A member asked:

Is a brace necessary for sports after acl surgery? i am an athlete and am having acl replacement surgery so that i can continue to be active. will i need to use a brace to support my knee for the rest of my life when playing sports?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jim Hsu
Dr. Jim Hsuanswered
Sports Medicine 28 years experience
Hello: Strictly : Hello: strictly speaking you do not need to wear a brace after acl surgery. Some patients like the supportive feel of an acl brace during rehab. In some instances and some sports, a brace may help protect against collision-related reinjuries. I do believe there is no strongly overwhelming evidence to mandate a brace or to avoid a brace, so i discuss the above with the patient and help them decide. I generally advise those who get a brace to use it for the first year back to sports, unless they do some higher-collision-risk sports infrequently (for example, skiing), then i would have no problem with their wearing the brace a couple times a year for those occasions for several years. I would have problems with patients who feel they "must" have a brace: then i would want to rule out residual instability, and if that is ruled out, work with those patients to make sure they are confident on their feet. After all, the acl reconstruction should provide stability! i hope this helps! sincerely, jim hsu, md seattle, wa.
Dr. David Bailie
Orthopedic Surgery 31 years experience
No: Studies show a brace is not needed after successful surgery for acl but does help with confidence in the first year.

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Last updated Nov 24, 2020

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