Patellar dislocation is a painful injury that occurs when your kneecap slips out of its normal position. If you're an active person, you're more likely to experience this injury. Different types of knee braces are available for managing this condition.
A traumatic lateral patellar dislocation (patellar dislocation) is a common injury in physically active adolescents and young adults, accounting for 3% of all knee injuries. It usually occurs due to the twisting of the knee with the foot fixed on the ground.
Treatment for first–time traumatic patellar dislocations is controversial. However, nonoperative treatment is the preferred management option after a first–time traumatic patellar dislocation. There are different braces available for this purpose, however, clinical trials comparing their efficacy were limited.
The clinical trial compared two types of knee braces to see which one was more effective in treating a first-time traumatic patellar dislocation.
The trial involved 79 patients with a first-time traumatic patellar dislocation. These patients were divided into two groups. One group received a patella-stabilizing, motion-restricting knee brace (Group A), while the other group received a neoprene nonhinged knee brace (Group B). Both groups wore their respective braces for four weeks.
The researchers measured the redislocation rate, knee range of motion, quadriceps muscle atrophy, and functional outcomes. They found that the redislocation rate in group A was 34.4% (11/32) and in group B it was 37.5% (12/32). This difference was not statistically significant. The patients in group A had less range of motion and more quadriceps muscle atrophy compared to group B. At 6 months, patients in group B reported better functional outcomes than patients in group A.
The clinical trial found that wearing a patella-stabilizing, motion-restricting knee brace does not have any additional benefit compared to wearing a neoprene nonhinged knee brace in improving knee function and reducing redislocations in patients with a first-time traumatic patellar dislocation. If you've experienced this injury, talk to your doctor about whether a knee brace might be right for you.