Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 151–160 | Cite as

Effects of prophylactic knee bracing on patellar tendon loading parameters during functional sports tasks in recreational athletes

  • Jonathan Sinclair
  • Jim D. Richards
  • Paul J. Taylor
Original Article



This study investigated the effects of prophylactic knee bracing on patellar tendon loading parameters.


Twenty recreational athletes (10 male and 10 female) from different athletic disciplines performed run, cut and single leg hop movements under two conditions (prophylactic knee brace/no-brace). Lower extremity kinetics and kinematics were examined using a piezoelectric force plate and three-dimensional motion capture system. Patellar tendon loading was explored using a mathematical modelling approach, which accounted for co-contraction of the knee flexors. Tendon loading parameters were examined using 2 (brace) × 3 (movement) × 2 (sex) mixed ANOVAs.


Tendon instantaneous load rate was significantly reduced in female athletes in the run (brace 289.14 BW/s no-brace 370.06 BW/s) and cut (brace 353.17 BW/s/no-brace 422.01 BW/s) conditions whilst wearing the brace.


Female athletes may be able to attenuate their risk from patellar tendinopathy during athletic movements, through utilization of knee bracing, although further prospective research into the prophylactic effects of knee bracing is required before this can be clinically substantiated.


Biomechanics Knee brace Patellar tendon Tendinopathy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

Institutional ethical approval was granted.

Informed consent

All participants provided written consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health & WellbeingUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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