Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Intrinsic risk factors and the effects of prophylactic bracing on the development of patellofemoral pain in male subjects
  1. D Van Tiggelen1,
  2. S Cowan2,
  3. Y Thijs3,
  4. P Coorevits3,
  5. E Witvrouw3
  1. 1Military Hospital Queen Astrid, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Brussels, Belgium
  2. 2Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


Background The aetiology of patellofemoral pain (PFP) is multifactorial. Patellofemoral bracing can be used as a preventative method in subjects undergoing strenuous training.

Objective Individuals with intrinsic risk factors for PFP could be identified to provide them with patellofemoral braces as preventative method.

Setting Military cadets undergo a strenuous basic military training (BMT) of 6 weeks.

Design A prospective cohort study.

Participants 169 male officer cadets volunteered for the study.

Intervention 43 subjects were randomly assigned to the intervention group wearing patellofemoral braces during the BMT.

Main outcome measurements Peak torque of the knee extensor and flexors, the onset of the VMO and VL, the joint position sense (JPS) of the knee, the range of motion and anthropometrical characteristics were measured. A military physical fitness test (MPFT) was assessed prior to the start of their BMT.

Results After BMT less recruits in the brace group developed PFP compared to the control subjects (16.3% vs 33.7%; p=0.042). A delayed onset of the VMO-VL, poor JPS, lower peak torque of the knee extensors and a low score on the MPFT were predictive variables in the development of PFP.

Conclusion The incidence of PFP in predisposed individuals could be downsised using patellofemoral bracing if intrinsic risk factors are identified. Physical intrinsic risk factors predict the development of PFP during strenuous training sessions. The use of the logistic regression model could identify individuals who could derive benefit from patellofemoral bracing during exacting training sessions.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.