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Knee braces while skiing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
For those of you who had an MCL injury last year, are any of you thinking about wearing your knee brace again for the upcoming ski season?

I am very athletic and in great shape. Although I am seriously working on strength training, stability/stretch and cardio, etc, my knee is still sore at times and I would like to know the pro and cons of wearing the brace again. Has anyone read recent research with this regard?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 8
My knees get sore because of aggressive skiing and old age. I have found knee braces to be useful.

- Wrap braces keep the knees a little warmer.

- Sitting back too much puts a great amount of stress on the knees. Knee braces hinder the backward plunge. As a wrap knee brace bunches up behind your knee, you can get a feeling that you are sitting back too much. Also, the brace simply provides a little support.

- Twisting and hyperextension of the knee can really hurt when already injured. Generally, bracing will not stop twisting or hyperextension under any real pressure.

- One thing a knee brace does is to restrict free-swinging movement while walking around so that you don't accidently hyper-extend or twist a sensitive knee.

I have used doubled up (two wraps) on a knee while skiing. It just makes an injured knee feel more comfortable. It also feels good to get it off at the end of the day.

I have also used braces with metal bars on the side. Frankly, the metal bars don't do much. I tried to modify them to stop hyper-extension under some forceful movement, but I found that the forces involved in movement were too much and anything I did just tore apart the brace material. However this brace was good and tight and provided as much support as a double wrap.

If my knees don't hurt, I don't wear anything and I try to ride my skis instead of forcing them around. Also, I got better skis, wide skis that gave me better support. With the new skis, I was not fighting my turns so much in the crud.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, Ruxpercnd!
post #4 of 8
I don't know if you've heard of the CADS device (http://www.cads.com/) but last year at Vail my fiance was having knee problems and we coincidentally were riding the lift with the inventor of it. She demo'd it and bought one then and there.

It takes all the pressure off your knees, as well as off your quads. It actually keeps the skis flat on the snow by acting as a sort of shock absorber.

People give you funny looks, and you get a lot of questions about it, but it seems to work well.
post #5 of 8
Hi Chione! Take a look at this thread: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ht=mcl+ brace

In between reprimands there is some good info. Also, skier 31 said that there was an article in TPS baout the benefits of skiing with a brace post injury. I'm not sure which issue, but if you know any ski instructors they would probably have a copy of it.

Last November, after I strained my MCL, I did a lot of ADductor strength work. That was really helpful in building up the natural stabilizers. You can use the ad/abductor machine, but there are actually some better things to do. If we can ever get off the elliptical the next time we're at the rec center, I'll show you.

In the meantime, if you have hardwood floors anywhere in your house you can make a makeshift "slide board." But a towel under your bad foot. Start with your feet apart. Slide the bad leg in to meet the other leg.
post #6 of 8
Thanks for bringing this up Chione. I hadn't thought much about wearing my brace, since last season's MCL has 97% seemed to recover. However, I did notice little twinges the other day. I think I will probably wear it early season.

By the way, are you talking about a soft wrap-type brace, or the more serious hinged one with lateral support? I do have one for each leg, nicknamed "Whistler" and "Breck".

Hey, we could have a one-legged sack race/stability drill with all the MCL people in Summit County. From what I hear, my incident was number 2 on the most embarassing way to sprain one's MCL list.
post #7 of 8
Nope, not planning on wearing my brace. Wore it skiing 8 weeks after the MCL incident(11-04) and then not again the rest of the season, including the season finale of Lake Tahoe.
post #8 of 8
I wear my $2,200.00 knee brace while skiing and it doesn't bother me one bit. I tore my mcl last year(full tear). The MCL will heal(scar tissue will form) and provide 90% of the original tensile strength. Train the core!!!
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