Many football players in the United States sustain injuries to the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Preventive knee braces have been developed to reduce the incidence of MCL injuries. Results of epidemiologic studies regarding the efficacy of preventive knee braces are inconsistent, however. Two potential causes may have produced this inconsistency: (a) the design and conduct of the study and (b) factors affecting the relationship between the use of preventive knee braces and the occurrence of knee injuries. In the current study, factors affecting this relationship were identified and epidemiologic studies regarding the efficacy of preventive knee braces were reviewed. Because of the poor quality of available studies, no valid inferences can be made about the efficacy of the knee braces used by high school and college football players.
(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.