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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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When I watch sports on TV, I notice a lot of the athletes have a band around their knees or arm. What's that for?

You may be referring to supports used to help prevent or relieve pain from injuries during athletic events such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball. The commonly used knee strap is often seen on athletes with knee disorders such as chondromalacia patella, Osgood Schlatter's disease, and runners and jumper's knee. You may even see older adults with arthritis and knee degeneration using such supports. In the case of the knee strap, it stabilizes and tightens up the patella (kneecap) by putting pressure on the patellar tendon just below the kneecap. This can help reduce inflammation and improves stability of the knee. This type of support can help keep the knee from giving out from under you. Many people can regain enough normal mobility that they are able to return to their regular activities. The upper arm strap you see on athletes is worn above the biceps or triceps muscle. It puts pressue on the tendon fibers to help keep them from pulling and tearing. Sometimes swimmers use these to prevent painful swimmer's arm. Anytime athletes participate in sports involving over use of the arm, the strap can help reduce the risk of painful tendinitis.


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