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The effects of the generation II unloader express brace on medial compartment knee osteoarthritis Yeung, Peter Lap-Tak

Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease characterized by the deterioration of cartilage, formation of osteophytes, and subchondral sclerosis. So far, there is nothing available to stop disease progression or reverse disease symptoms. Bracing has been found to be an alternative to more invasive measures to reduce symptoms in individuals with knee OA. Twenty-one subjects (14 male, 7 female) enrolled in a twelve week repeated measures study. There were three brace conditions: no brace (control), brace in neutral (placebo), and brace adjusted to four degrees valgus. All subjects underwent each condition in the same sequence. There was a three week washout period between the neutral and valgus brace conditions. A questionnaire, adapted from the WOMAC, was designed for this study showed good reliability (r = 0.89 to r = 0.93) for the three parameters assessed This study found wearing the valgus brace significantly minimized the increase in pain (p = 0.037), difficulty in function (p = 0.032), and stiffness (p = 0.021) experienced after activity compared to wearing the neutral brace. The results of this study suggest that the Generation II Orthotics Unloader Express is an effective treatment for those suffering mild forms of osteoarthritis.

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