The authors conducted a study of 45 patients with anterior cruciate ligament- (ACL-) deficient knees who had been fitted with rigid knee orthoses in the past three months. In addition to, being diagnosed with knee pathologies, all patients had complained of pain and “giving way” (instability during physical activities).
The study was undertaken for two reasons: 1) to gain insight into the usability of two custom-made and two “off-the-shelf rigid knee orthoses based on their actual use, usefulness and ease of use; and 2) to determine the influence of the type of orthosis on patient outcomes.
Almost all of the orthoses actually were used at home and in leisure time as well as at work and in sports. Usefulness of all types of rigid knee orthoses was the greatest in circumstances when the patients performed poorly before orthosis fitting. Ease of use played a secondary role. The four types of rigid knee orthoses did not significantly differ in respect to the research objectives.