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Author Topic: Preventative Bracing - motorbikes, bikes and skiing  (Read 743 times)

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Offline SimpleOne

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Preventative Bracing - motorbikes, bikes and skiing
« on: January 12, 2015, 12:41:20 PM »
Hi,

I've been alpine skiing and downhill mountain biking for most of my life and in the last few years I've been getting into motorbike riding (which is heading towards motorbike racing). Thus far I have got away with no real injuries, just the odd tweak to a knee here or there but nothing snapped or torn and no ongoing issues. I'm now 27 and I'm getting more involved with dirt bikes where I'm sniffing around motocross, supermoto and enduro racing. Reading about so many unfortunate people, I've decided to consider a bit of preventative medicine in the form of bracing.

In particular I'm looking into wrist and knee braces for use on the dirt bike, but also something that I can use with the mountain bike and for my downhill skiing. Even better would be if it can be used on my road race bike (600cc super sport), but this is optional and likely problematic due to the significant bend and the race leathers. In short, I'm looking to protect myself from:
* Direct front impact (i.e. to the knee cap)
* Hyperextension of the joint
* Sideways impact/loading on the joint
* Excessive twisting of the joint
I'm also looking for something that fits well - if it's not comfortable you don't wear it....and that's when accidents happen.

Do braces actually work preventively for all of the above mechanisms or just some of them? (i.e. am I expecting more protection than what they really offer?)
What sort of bracing should I be looking at?
Any particular brands? (I've heard good things about DonJoy, CTI and Townsend braces.....any others to consider?)
Price is not 'no object' to me, but I've decided I'm willing to spend what needs to be spent to do this once and do it right....I like being able to walk :)

One concern that I do have with braces in general is the transfer of load issue. For instance, if a rotational force on the foot/ankle were to twist the foot around, then the motorbike boots will likely save the ankle joint by transferring the load to the leg and into the knee. At that point, a knee brace will presumably help save the knee by transferring the load to my hip......am I potentially setting myself up for a much worse injury there?

As bad as it sounds - am I better off leaving the knee unprotected as a bit of a 'fuse' rather than potentially tearing the hip apart?

Thanks,

Kris
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 01:10:38 PM by SimpleOne »

Offline SimpleOne

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Re: Preventative Bracing - motorbikes, bikes and skiing
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 02:21:57 PM »
Hi All,

Obviously this wasnt a popular topic  ;)
That said, I'm still curious if anyone has thoughts on (or has been able to find facts about) the 'transfer of injury' issue I speculated on in the original post:

"One concern that I do have with braces in general is the transfer of load issue. For instance, if a rotational force on the foot/ankle were to twist the foot around, then the motorbike boots will likely save the ankle joint by transferring the load to the leg and into the knee. At that point, a knee brace will presumably help save the knee by transferring the load to my hip......am I potentially setting myself up for a much worse injury there?

As bad as it sounds - am I better off leaving the knee unprotected as a bit of a 'fuse' rather than potentially tearing the hip apart?"


Anyone?

Offline monsters

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Re: Preventative Bracing - motorbikes, bikes and skiing
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 09:36:12 PM »
In terms of load transfer, I wouldn't personally worry about the "worse injury". Theoretically, that load transfer wouldn't be transferred at 100% to the hip; it'd be some fraction thereof. I'd also imagine that the hip could handle the application of forces (ball-and-socket) moreso than the knee.

If it were me, I'd worry a little that the encumberance would make me less agile and cut off my ROM a little, so I'd not be able to recover in a situation where I otherwise would, and that I'd be less inclined to do racing with extra weight.

I ride too (just to commute) and I can't imagine being able to fit anything more than a compression brace under my leathers (which already have kneeguards and shinguards in them).


Offline jon-d

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Re: Preventative Bracing - motorbikes, bikes and skiing
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 05:51:14 PM »
simpleone, i have been competitively riding and racing dirt bikes for 25 years and have been very lucky (until recently) not to have hurt myself.  I always considered myself a safe rider and wore every piece of safety equipment available.  any passes i made were clean and safe, and i never jumped anything i felt was sketchy.  also, money was no object with me either, safety first was my mindset.

i would not go with donjoy's due to their customer support.  its a good brace and i used them for years, but when it came time to ordering Velcro straps and knee cups they were very expensive and one time they sent me the wrong size straps and would not exchange them because I had used them (i was at the track and had no choice) even though they admitted it was their fault.  i would look to one of the other reputable brands and ask your buddies what they use and their opinion.  find the right one for you.

i did not fall very often on my knee to report an adequate test on how they performed, but at the very least they did provide more confidence when riding.  they do protect but they also have some play in them.  you have to remember that the fitment is different when you first put them on vs after a hard moto due to your leg swelling from the activity and blood flow.  sweat also lubricates the straps allowing more movement - although minor.  in my particular injury the brace did help hold what remained of my knee together and probably saved me one surgery (ACL at least).  i know all that may sound helpless, but wear them they do provide a level of protection knee cups alone cannot provide.  just for background, my injury was caused by a direct impact from my foot up to my knee.  basically i drove the bottom of my knee into the top of my knee causing the bottom part to shatter.  i was going around a sweeping corner doing about 50 MPH when my rear tire started walking out so i instinctively put out my leg to catch the bike.  i never knew such an injury existed until it happened to me.

can i talk you out of motorcycle riding (both street and dirt)?  the 25 years of pleasure i had from the riding/racing experiences was wiped out by the pain and change in my remaining life from this injury. i was a good rider (not pro) and was in fantastic shape, had sponsors supporting me and was winning races.  I truly enjoyed what i had but this injury not only affected me but my family.  i would not wish this on anyone which is why i hope i can talk you into reconsidering. 
9/13/15 - TP shattered during motocross race
9/13/15 - external hardware installed, calf sliced on both sides (compartment syndrome)
9/16/15 - calf sewn and stapled up
9/18/15 - external hardware removed, internal hardware installed
9/29/15 - first day back home, first day of a long recovrey















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