If you have boots (race style)then you dont need shin guards. But if you want the best knee protection. Go with these. Asterisk Cell
They are not cheap, $549 for the pair, but they are worth every penny. I wore them when I raced motocross.
I jacked this post from the Saw Dust Man on KTMTalk. I would have posted a link, but KTMTalk are nazis, and won't let you lurk unless you are a member. The cool pics are missing, but the point is made nonetheless.
The Reader's Digest version is this; if you don't have an injured or unstable knee, don't wear knee braces. Part of the knee's purpose is as a sacrificial joint to prevent damage to more important stuff, namely the femur and tibia.
Just my . Everyone should wear or use what makes them feel comfortable.
I have been getting alot of PMs and emails asking about knee braces. I am an orthotist/prosthetist meaning I make and fit braces and artifical limbs. My training is not from the knee brace makers (that is a sales rep) I went to school specifically for limbs and bracing and do not work for any manufacturer.
I am going to try to answer the most common questions I have been recieving in one place. Remember, this is free internet advice, I may be a 13 year old punk in my mothers basement.
I am going to keep this explination simple and generalized.
The knee joint
These are the ligaments you are interested in protecting.
MCL & LCL
The MCL connects the inside of the tibia to the inside of the femur. It prevents the knee joint from opening up on the inside.
The LCL connects the outside of the tibia to the outside of the femur. It prevents the knee joint from opening up on the outside.
Together they help keep the femur from sliding side to side across the tibia.
They are injured or torn when a force moves the leg into extreme bowlegged-ness (LCL is torn) or extreme knock-kneed (MCL is torn).
Forces like this:
Would a knee brace protect against this type of injury?
Possibly. Knee braces are most effective in the side to side actions but as you can see, there is a lot of room for the femur to move inside the brace.
However, the condyles are captured fairly well and a knee unstable in the side to side motion can be braced very effectivly.
ACL & PCL
These are the ligaments that keep the tibia from sliding forward (ACL) and back (PCL) across the femur.
Inury to these ligaments come from hyperextension of the knee and/or planting the foot on the ground durring a heavy impact and the femur sliding forward or backward across the tibia ie...trying to correct a tiping bike at 30mph.
A knee brace is probably most effective at preventing hyperextension of the knee, however this is exactly the situation you want to avoid. When the knee attempts to hyperextend the femur and tibia are leveraged against the brace and a long bone fracture can occur. It is a very rare injury but I believe this is the exact injury KTMmissouri suffered from.
As for preventing the forward-back sliding of the tibia against the femoral condyles, a knee brace will do very little (if anything) to prevent this type of injury. They just cannot supply the amount of counter force required to keep the femur and tibia in alignment durring heavy impacts.
Twisting injuries, the tibia twists against the femur injuring some or all the ligaments. A knee brace will do nothing to prevent this injury.
So what are braces for?
1. Unstable knee joint. The most effective treatment is surgery, when surgery is not advised or wanted, a brace can help the patient return to activity. For instability in the ML (side to side) direction I recomend a DonJoy, Townsend style of brace. For instabilities in the ACL/PCL the CTi2 is a good brace. For off the self, nothing beats the asterisk/CTi brace for fit.
2. Recovery. When doctors used to use alot of donor ligaments for reconstruction, we would brace the knee until it recieved full strength. Atrophied quads and hamstrings cannot supply the support needed to control the knee and are braced.
3. Pain releif from cartilage damage or arthritis. A properly fit and designed brace can relieve pain associated with these problems. I highly recomend a brace called the Generation II for this type of unloading brace.
It should also be said that these principles govern all bracing. Your own muscle framework provides the best bracing possible. Using a brace on a healthy joint may cause a weakening of this framework and result in a higher risk for injury. On a heathy person stong abs and back muscles will do much more than a brace and the same can be said for the quads and hamstrings.
If you are injured and need a brace, use for support while strenghtening the involved muscles. When you are back to 100%, take it off.
As always, if you need help with bracing or any questions, I am happy to help.
Wynona loved her big brown beaver
And she stroked him all the time.
She pricked her finger one day and it
Occurred to her she might have a porcupine