Clinical Research

Use of the OnTrack® knee brace system in decreasing patellofemoral pain and recruiting the Vastus Medialis Obliques muscle function.

Clinical Trials Abstract

Patellar stabilization braces are a common adjunct to the conservative treatment of patellofemoral pain (PFP). Recently, the OnTrack® brace system was developed, which has been reported to be a more effective and affordable method in controlling PFP. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of the OnTrack® brace in reducing PFP compared to a conventional patellar brace. Twenty-five subjects with a diagnosis of PFP participated in this study. Subjects performed a series of 10 functional tests ranging from simple activities such as step-ups and step-downs to more complex activities such as jogging and single leg hopping.

These conditions were performed under three conditions:

  1. While wearing the OnTrack brace,
  2. While wearing a standard neoprene sleeve brace with a cut out and,
  3. With no brace.

Upon completion of each functional task, subjects were asked to report whether the activity reproduced their symptoms. Pain was reported as either being present (yes response) or absent (no response). The order of testing these conditions was randomized in order to control for the effects of fatigue.

Clinical Trials

Comparison between the OnTrack and standard brace trials, as well as between the OnTrack and no brace trials were mad using McNemars test. Results found that the PFP subjects reported significantly fewer pain responses for all 10 activities while wearing the OnTrack brace compared to both the standard brace and no brace conditions (p<0.005). In addition, clinical observations of increased quadriceps strength and improved patellar orientation were noted while wearing the OnTrack brace.

These results indicate that the OnTrack brace system was more effective in controlling PFP symptoms during functional tasks than standard knee bracing. Further research regarding the mechanism of this pain reduction (i.e. improved patellar orientation or improved quadriceps recruitment) is warranted.

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