Knee braces for O linemen

gopkrs

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Josh Meyers will be wearing knee braces. I think it's a good idea.
 

Mondio

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once you're back to full strength, I don't think braces do anything for injury prevention and only serve to limit your normal active ROM's. Your ACL's are still at risk.
 
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gopkrs

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once you're back to full strength, I don't think braces do anything for injury prevention and only serve to limit your normal active ROM's. Your ACL's are still at risk.
Yeah, I'm no orthopedic surgeon, but that just does not sound correct. I guess they say the evidence is cloudy. To me it just makes sense on the face of it. Doesn't sound like anybody has done a really good study on it. Which would be difficult anyway because how do you know what injuries were prevented?
 
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I also had heard that braces can limit the affected area from rebuilding the supporting area around the injury. I know it’s counterintuitive though. I agree it sounds backwards.

From what I read, Mondio is correct unless we want to split hairs. There is very little to zero evidence that shows that the brace prevents rein-jury (3/48 re-tears without brace and 2/47 re-tears with a brace). But what do we lose in mobility? At what cost? It’s not a definitive result because the variance was too small.

See Section 4 and 5 (conclusion) of this study done just last year. It had a large sample size, which you don’t get unless you do a large study like this one. This study is fresh off the grill (2021). One thing I’d offer is it could be a tailored brace and thus be more specific to someone his size or repair equivalent. Not all braces are the same either as they discussed. I’m definitely not implying it can’t help. It could help from a mental confidence side etc.. Maybe mid/season he’ll pull a Forest Gump and run for Jennae

 
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El Guapo

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I've done zero research, but my recollection from 20 or 30 years ago was hearing that all linemen typically wear the braces for two reasons: 1) for protection; and 2) so that the defense doesn't know who has a bum knee.

With all of the injury reports these days, I'm not sure that the last part holds an advantage anymore.
 

Mondio

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I'm not a fan of bracing anything anymore outside of gross instability and in that case, you're not RTS anyway. There are some exceptions where you can limit an elbow or hand significantly so as not to expose it to a compromised position without significantly limiting the persons ability to play football. If they're making money, sometimes that's the trade off to get them back on the field a bit quicker. To date, there isn't a knee brace that prevents sheer forces IMO to remotely decrease the chances of injury vs a rehabbed and healthy knee. anything else would be too restrictive to the player. Something isn't always better than nothing IMO.
 
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....still running it through our Laugh-O-Meter computer to estimate the giggle percentage.
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It’s ok I fully expected some emotional tears. My Daddy told me regarding comedy.. to always reset crowd expectations early. Start the show with a real tear dripper.

Im not sure if you knew, but at a young age I wanted to do “Stand Up”
But the crowd all cried and shouted to “SIT DOWN!” Why.. I was so bad they put me on comedy PUP. That turned into comedy career ending IR (Internal Reject)

Up until your post? I was so confused with Bak and Tonyan because I thought we were discussing trying to bring back the American Civil Liberties union….
Due to 2 ACL’s being on ice
 
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Pkrjones

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I have a hard time believing that braces don't help OL's avoid injury, considering a large percentage of NCAA teams require bracing for the linemen. There must be conclusive evidence that injuries are minimized or avoided otherwise programs wouldn't needlessly spend many $thousands/year trying to protect these players.

Belichick requests his OL's and many other players to wear them in NE (at least in '15). https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/ne...explains-why-he-asks-linemen-wear-knee-braces
 
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Mondio

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You might have a hard time believing it, but there isn't any conclusive evidence. Everything pretty much points to having zero impact on injuries. has for the past 30 years. and it makes sense to me physiologically that anything that would prevent that much movement to protect ACL's would be too prohibitive to play sport in for a knee anyway.

They probably spend thousands to avoid millions in potential liability down the road.
 

Heyjoe4

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once you're back to full strength, I don't think braces do anything for injury prevention and only serve to limit your normal active ROM's. Your ACL's are still at risk.
I think that's right. Knee braces mostly support lateral movement. ACL tears happen when the upper body gets out too far in front of the knee, when the feet are planted too firmly in either natural or artificial turf. Braces won't prevent that.
 

Heyjoe4

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Yeah, I'm no orthopedic surgeon, but that just does not sound correct. I guess they say the evidence is cloudy. To me it just makes sense on the face of it. Doesn't sound like anybody has done a really good study on it. Which would be difficult anyway because how do you know what injuries were prevented?
I think ACL tears happen during forward, not lateral, movement. The feet get planted too firmly and the upper body forward motion extends way past the knee, causing the ACL to stretch and possibly tear. But I'm no ortho surgeon either, I just support them financially. ;)
 
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gopkrs

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You might have a hard time believing it, but there isn't any conclusive evidence. Everything pretty much points to having zero impact on injuries. has for the past 30 years. and it makes sense to me physiologically that anything that would prevent that much movement to protect ACL's would be too prohibitive to play sport in for a knee anyway.

They probably spend thousands to avoid millions in potential liability down the road.
Not too long ago they were scoffing at needing better helmets, shoulder pads, cleats and the like. I am very doubtful of braces limiting a lineman's ability to do his job. We'll see how Myers does. I am expecting him to be very helpful in opening holes to run through and then getting to the second level. Assuming he doesn't get a knee injury.
 

Heyjoe4

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Not too long ago they were scoffing at needing better helmets, shoulder pads, cleats and the like. I am very doubtful of braces limiting a lineman's ability to do his job. We'll see how Myers does. I am expecting him to be very helpful in opening holes to run through and then getting to the second level. Assuming he doesn't get a knee injury.
I think Myers will be fine without braces. Only he can tell if it affects his performance. Centers mostly take straight lines, at least more so than Guards and Tackles. And it's really hard to tell what causes injuries, or rather, if there's a pattern. Certainly better helmets have helped reduce concussions, but does that help linemen who are getting whacked in the head on every snap? All the league can do, and should do, is look for patterns (like the number of injuries occurring on kickoffs) and take appropriate action. But it's a violent sport, and injuries are gonna happen.
 

Heyjoe4

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that just is not right. And he will be wearing knee braces.
You're correct, my bad. The braces are gonna affect his lateral movement. That's just the tradeoff, support at the expense of mobility. All I can think of is that his knees must be in pretty bad shape if he needs the braces. My understanding is that college linemen who wear braces ditch them in the NFL because of the increased speed of the game.

We'll just have to see. I just don't view it as a positive sign.
 
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Not too long ago they were scoffing at needing better helmets, shoulder pads, cleats and the like. I am very doubtful of braces limiting a lineman's ability to do his job. We'll see how Myers does. I am expecting him to be very helpful in opening holes to run through and then getting to the second level. Assuming he doesn't get a knee injury.
I seemed to recall Bulaga wearing one for GB? He seemed to play fine as far as mobility
 
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We'll just have to see. I just don't view it as a positive sign.
True that it may not be a positive. Yet also we need to remember what a long an arduous recovery process is like. It would also make sense that it’s just an initial counter strategy until the player is more confident (as much mental) in his ability to stress the affected area, with some success. Meaning they might feel more confident shedding it after a month or two.

Just a thought. Just picking an example here. I’d rather have Bak with a brace than no Bak at all. Or a Bak playing but mentally intimidated by the thought of a career ending re-injury.
 

Mondio

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Not too long ago they were scoffing at needing better helmets, shoulder pads, cleats and the like. I am very doubtful of braces limiting a lineman's ability to do his job. We'll see how Myers does. I am expecting him to be very helpful in opening holes to run through and then getting to the second level. Assuming he doesn't get a knee injury.
Helmets have gotten bigger and TBI's are as common as ever, shoulder pads have gotten smaller, artificial turf rips up more knees than anything.

I said a brace capable of limiting the sheer forces in a knee to protect your ACL's would be too limiting, and they would be, that's why there aren't any that do that anybody uses for RTS. I haven't seen a brace for a knee on the market that prevents ACL injuries or is capable of it. Pretty much every single retrospective study on the matter has shown there has never been one either as none of them show a reduction in injuries.

I stand by my original statement, if the knee is healthy enough to return to sport, it doesn't need a brace because it doesn't help it physically.
 

Heyjoe4

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True that it may not be a positive. Yet also we need to remember what a long an arduous recovery process is like. It would also make sense that it’s just an initial counter strategy until the player is more confident (as much mental) in his ability to stress the affected area, with some success. Meaning they might feel more confident shedding it after a month or two.

Just a thought. Just picking an example here. I’d rather have Bak with a brace than no Bak at all. Or a Bak playing but mentally intimidated by the thought of a career ending re-injury.
Thanks OldSchool. We were talking about Myers using braces, but I seee no reason Bakh couldn't wear one if it helps him along. I used to run, and that meant inevitable knee injuries, some worse than others. I'd run with a sleeve over my knee and really, I think it helped more psychologically than physically!

And so it might be with Bakh. Maybe a brace, maybe they limit his snap count. I hope that he's fine and these are ways to make him feel more comfortable. Because while we fans are nervous about his return, probably no one is more concerned than Bakh himself. So, whatever it takes to get him back in action, so be it.
 

Heyjoe4

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Helmets have gotten bigger and TBI's are as common as ever, shoulder pads have gotten smaller, artificial turf rips up more knees than anything.

I said a brace capable of limiting the sheer forces in a knee to protect your ACL's would be too limiting, and they would be, that's why there aren't any that do that anybody uses for RTS. I haven't seen a brace for a knee on the market that prevents ACL injuries or is capable of it. Pretty much every single retrospective study on the matter has shown there has never been one either as none of them show a reduction in injuries.

I stand by my original statement, if the knee is healthy enough to return to sport, it doesn't need a brace because it doesn't help it physically.
You're right. Braces provide a psychological lift, but that's all. And there is no brace that would prevent an ACL or PCL tear. Those injuries occur from forward or backward motion. Braces mostly support lateral movement.

And I haven't seen stats, but I would bet that most ACL tears happen on artificial turf. The stuff is like velcro. The cleats get caught in the turf fibers and get stuck. The upper body keeps moving, the knee doesn't. Two that come to mind are Jordy Nelson in a pre-season game years ago, and OBJ is the Super Bowl.
 

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