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Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-28-2012, 11:18 AM Reply   
I got my CTI custom brace about 9 months ago, when I was about 6 months out of recovery from ACL reconstruction. I was measured for the brace (not molded). I was having issues with the brace sliding down and bruising right above my thigh every time I use it (wakeboarding/snowboarding). So I got the Anti-migration strap, but I'm still having the issue. I tighten the 2 lower straps on the brace so much that I get cramps in my calf, and that usually helps it from sliding. But then I have a new issue just as painful, but my knee brace is sitting in the correct area.

I've had a gap between the brace and my thigh when my knee is bent ever since I received it... shouldn't this be tight so it doesn't slide down when I bend my knee on landings? I also feel like this gap keeps me unprotected from hyperextension, which is initially how I tore my ACL. I talked to the guy who sized me today about it, and he said that's how it's supposed to fit and the best thing I can do is use the anti-migration strap.

I know some of you on here swear by the CTI brace. Do you guys get frustrated by your knee brace, or does mine fit wrong? What are your tricks for keeping it in place? Honestly, I would like to go to another place to get a 2nd opinion and possibly resized, unless everyone else has these same issues. Thanks for your answers and input!
Old     (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-28-2012, 1:46 PM Reply   
I've had an off the shelf CTI brace for 6 years now. When I got mine, it was the best fit for me compared to the other top brands. Despite all that, it doesn't fit perfectly. I don't think any brace fits perfectly. Our knees are more complex than we realize. I've had the same issues you're having and I have just accepted the fact that there probably isn't a perfect brace out there. Do you have your knee measurements from the day you were measured? Atrophy could have caused your leg to shrink a little since you were fitted. Just a thought.
Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-28-2012, 3:15 PM Reply   
My leg is definitely stronger now than when I got the brace. I don't have the measurements, but the gap was even larger 9 months ago. I figured he was guessing that my leg would grow into it judging by the size of my other leg, and it has slightly. But I feel like he assumed that it would grow more than it has. I just thought a custom brace should fit like a glove, and you see pictures of people wearing them looking that they fit like a glove. Maybe I should put some kind of padding under that spot?
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-28-2012, 3:23 PM Reply   
Sometimes people put the wrong pads on the inside of the hinge area that will cause the brace to ride high. I would try playing with those pads and see if you can get the brace sitting properly. Also, are you strapping the brace on when your knee is bent? I bend my knee at about a 90 degree angle to situate the brace then strap in. Just to clarify you are running the ams strap not the sleee right?
Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-28-2012, 4:05 PM Reply   
My brace rarely ever sits high, the guy who sized me says I should actually put the brace on higher up so it will fall into place, but then what's gonna stop it from sliding down even more? I always put it on at a 90 degree angle, and you can even push down on the spot where there's a gap and I can see it wants to sit about 2 inches lower on my leg. Is the hinge area suppose to be tight against the sides of my knee (mine is loose, can fit a finger between my leg and the brace)? I am using the anti migration strap (it's T-shaped), but I can't use the anti-migration pads in the hinge area because they take away some of the thickness I need in that area.
Old    jblinzler            09-28-2012, 4:15 PM Reply   
I have the custom. I have never actually had the ACL surgery but I have spent many hours rehabbing it. After doing so, I did in fact grow into my brace. they do measure it and make it a little bigger than the actual measurements to allow for growth. however in my case there are still gaps in various locations. The most noticeable is the very top right side of the brace which has close to a .5in gap bent but no gap when straight.

It does slip occasionally but nothing that would affect its performance. Mine never slips while wearing a wet suit, so if your having that problem i would recommend finding or making a neoprene knee sleeve to help it stay put. or put more time in at the gym doing squats to increase you quads overall size.
Old    9Drozd            09-28-2012, 4:20 PM Reply   
When I mine came in and the lady fitted mine, She added shims to the back side of the two pads on the side until they both touched my knee. Mine slides a little after initially getting wet, but I just adjust it one more time and it doesn't more after that. I ordered the anti migration strap, but I have yet to use it.
Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-28-2012, 4:28 PM Reply   
Mine slips over the wetsuit too, and the gap gets even bigger when I straighten my leg. I really don't think doing squats would help much, I have really strong quads as it is. Looking around I found this video:

at 2:17 Phil Soven shows his brace fully extended. I'd say I'm almost the same exact size as he is, but you can see the thigh (upper) section of the brace isn't very high, mine is about 1-2 inches taller than his. It seems shortening it would fix the issue that I'm having with the brace.
Old     (brett_cti_knee_braces)      Join Date: Feb 2009       09-29-2012, 10:56 PM Reply   
Hey Eric,
It sounds like you are already pretty well informed already, but here are few other things to do/try:
1. Dunk the brace to wet the straps before you apply the brace. The straps stretch a little bit when they get wet, so it is better to first apply the brace with them wet already.
2. Definitely use the AMS wrap. Make sure you get it really snug around your leg. It should be pretty high up, sitting just below your popliteal(the crease behind the back of your knee). If properly applied, it should not move even if you push hard on it and try to make it slide down over your calf.
3. The strap just above your calf is the most important one as your calf is the key anchor spot for the strap (and AMS). This strap should be securely tightened along with the bottom strap - but not to the point where it is uncomfortable. The top 2 straps just need to be comfortably secure. If you tighten these straps too much, it will force the brace down your leg when your muscles fire. Remember, your leg is shaped like an upside down cone with the only good capture spot being just above the calf. Leg shape and gravity pull the brace down.
4. If you are still running into fit/ migration issues then you may have not been measured correctly or your leg has changed. It happens. Fortunately, we have a 1 year fit guarantee on our braces (so you have about 3 months left to get this figured out), so you would need to call customer service (800.233.6263) or whoever fit you to get the process going.
5. If you want to take some photos and email them to me, I am happy to weigh in and help get you dialed?

Knee braces sometimes aren't the most intuitive and simple to get dialed, but once you do they are definitely worth it. Everyone's anatomy is a little different, so there isn't just a canned answer, but we are pretty good at getting it figured out and try our best to get you back out there with confidence. Shoot me an email with any more questions you have.

Thanks again to all the guys who jump on these types of threads and help out. It is appreciated!

Old     (e_rock32)      Join Date: Oct 2009       09-30-2012, 8:32 PM Reply   
Thanks for your input Brett! I'd like to send some pictures to hear your thoughts. What's your email? Mine is ... I got a new Anti-migration strap, added the shims to tighten up the knee area, and took everyone's advice. The brace fits a little better without the pain, but it stilled migrated about an inch to the area where it likes to sit. The upper part of the brace doesn't have the gap after it migrates, but then it sits an inch below my knee joint where I need it.
Old     (brett_cti_knee_braces)      Join Date: Feb 2009       09-30-2012, 9:07 PM Reply   
I'll send you an email with my contact. Take some pictures of it when you first put it on and some where it ends up. We'll grt it figured out. Talk soon.
Old     (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-01-2012, 9:27 AM Reply   
CTI's are the best braces on the planet, and have the best customer service! I haven't seen any other brace company reps, not only comment but help out someone in need. Brett is the man and CTI Braces are the best in the business.
Old     (imondi)      Join Date: Aug 2010       10-01-2012, 11:21 AM Reply   
Mine gives me the same bruise above my knee, but eventually I just got used to it! When I land hard in the flats with my knees bent, it just bounces off my leg and after a few, it leaves a pretty good bruise! Mine doesn't migrate down at all but even out of the water, you can push it down and it makes contact! Haha I just kind of accepted that it was worth the support!
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-01-2012, 12:20 PM Reply   
I agree that Cti is a good company. I have dealt with Brett many times (i have purchased 3 cti braces over 5+ yrs) and I am sure he will get you squared away. It's a great thing when the reps are as involved with the end user as Brett is!
Old     (Luker)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-01-2012, 12:32 PM Reply   
here is how i solved this issue and from my brief read through of the above comments i don't see were anyone mentioned it...

when you first got the brace (before the AMS), there is a funny shapped piece of padding that was velcroed to the brace where your shin goes. This piece is removed when you use the AMS. Instead of discarding this piece, you can flip it upside down and velcro it to the top part of the brace that sits on your thigh. This reduces the separation you are talking about on the top of the brace. It also keeps the brace from sliding down your thigh. Other than pulling some thigh hair out from time to time this has kept my brace from falling down for over 3 years now.
Old     (MattAlz33)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-01-2012, 12:58 PM Reply   
My brace used to slide down a bit and would leave a pretty nice bruise as well. However, this season it didn't. I assumed it was because of atrophy of my muscles and now that they are built back up my brace fits tighter and I no longer have the problem. So maybe giving it time to build back up the muscles will work for you too.
Old     (willyt)      Join Date: May 2010       10-01-2012, 1:13 PM Reply   
kind of feel like an idiot with this question... but..
had the CTi custom for about a year now, fits great but sometimes it will slide down, some sets it will stay right where it should. i have the AMS but i have no idea how to use it (there's the strap itself, then a little flap that comes off it? wheres that go?) havent used it because i'm not sure of the right setup.

brett - do you have any pictures of the AMS properly used?
Old     (brett_cti_knee_braces)      Join Date: Feb 2009       10-04-2012, 12:59 AM Reply   
Don't feel bad, it isnt a very intuitive accessory. We don't have any good photo instructions as of now, however, I was just speaking with tech services about Eric's brace and we dicussed the need for a video or better instructions for the AMS wrap. Until then, just call customer service at 800.233.6263 and they will walk you through it.
- Brett
Old     (fletch_tx)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-04-2012, 10:47 AM Reply   
doesn't CTI do lifetime adjustments on the Custom?

I just got a CTI Pro Sport OTS, and it's fitting quite well so far. I always put it on with my leg at a 45 or 90 degree angle, and it's important to tighten the strap directly below you knee first, then the bottom one followed by the top two. Make sure the center of the hinge pads line up with the center of you knee cap. This is what my brace guy told me anyway!

good luck!
Old     (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       10-06-2012, 11:19 PM Reply   
Are you supposed to cut the AMS down to a better fitting size or is it ok when the AMS strap wraps around itself when putting them on? Cuz mine feels funny when it over laps the ams strap
Old     (captain_vilfo)      Join Date: Apr 2007       10-07-2012, 9:18 AM Reply   
I still use mine, I tore my acl in 09 but I like having it for extra security, sometimes my knee swells up when I land weird (maybe its all mental but whatever). I do not use the anti-migration sleeve and mine seems to stay just fine while riding. Not sure if its because it is a custom molded brace but thought I would just share my experience with mine
Old     (RIDE_LAB)      Join Date: Dec 2011       10-08-2012, 10:02 AM Reply   
I ordered mine around the same time and had the same problem. turns out it was right when they switched their warehouse to mexico to make all the braces and had some problems. i called and they sent a rep out he re measured my leg and got a new one sent out to me. they were super helpful.
Old     (riddick)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-13-2012, 6:56 PM Reply   
Has anyone re-torn an ACL while wearing their CTI Custom?

I had ACL reconstructive surgery 13 months ago, and I think I just re-tore my ACL today while wearing the brace
Old     (geistwatersportscom)      Join Date: Dec 2006       11-06-2012, 7:24 PM Reply   
Brad, I have torn my acl twice within 23 months of surgerys. I was NOT wearing a cti brace. However, are you using the stops so that the brace will not let your leg hyperextend, i.e. straighten out? Hopefully you have just had a close call and not a tear. I would be careful on landing in the flats and charging hard even if you feel good. Next spring you will feel much better, around that 18 month timeframe. If you have torn your acl again major bummer. I did a lot of stuff different on my 2nd round of rehab. Feel free to reach out to me via email I do not check pm messages often on here.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-08-2012, 3:58 PM Reply   
Brad, the last study I was privy to regards to ACL's (this was a few years ago now) stated that it took closer to 18-24 months for a full allograph (cadaver) recovery. Often times the 6-12 month range is the most dangerous because the leg feels 100% but likely isnt. In addition I would imagine a hamstring or patella graph would take longer than the 18-24 months. In regards to your original question I have heard of guys re-tearing ACL's wearing just about every brace there is. The brace is there to supplement the leg's strength and stability primarily. (this was what I was told when I did mine).
Old     (willyt)      Join Date: May 2010       11-09-2012, 1:49 PM Reply   
my understanding is no brace will totally prevent you from tearing an ACL, they can only reduce the likelyhood of tearing it.

I'm really surprised at the 18-24 recovery time you state... i'm 20 months out of a patella graft and its felt 100% for awhile now.
Old     (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       11-10-2012, 9:25 PM Reply   
No brace can prevent another tear. The brace is anchored to soft tissue, and the soft tissue will always give before the brace does. I'm 4 years out of hamstring autograft acl reconstruction. I don't wear my brace when playing soccer, but I do when I wakeboard. I think it helps provide some lateral stability on weird landings that put a lot of lateral torque on my knee.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       11-12-2012, 1:00 PM Reply   
Willy, yes the 18-24 month statement surprised me as well. It was a study that I got the whitepaper on from the Doc that did mine...Warren King. He is part of SOAR (Sports Orthopedic Athletic Rehabilitation) that works with the local sports teams and the fox guys (although they usually use Dr. Ting I believe). So when you here someone on fox say they are getting flown out to CA for a knee surgery it's usually those guys.


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