Guide to CTi
The ultimate knee brace for preventative care
- For athletes who participate in sports and activities with a high instance of knee injuries that want added protection and confidence.
- Who need high performance, low-profile, rigid support for their knee(s).
- The brand for rigid, functional knee support.
- That beats the competition because it‘s truly custom design enables it to be optimized for the athlete‘s anatomy and activity requirements.
- The reason why the CTi brace frame locks onto the tibia, is to help reduce migration and provide the brace-to-bone contact needed for maximum stabilisation of the knee joint.
Do I Need a CTi®?
There are a wide variety of knee braces on the market and they all feature different benefits, from the injury prevention (prophylactic) to those worn post injury with the aim of returning you to your chosen activity. With so many options and so much information, selecting the right one for you can be quite difficult.
Before you make your decision, there are a number of key questions you should ask yourself. You should also view online reviews and find out what your friends and professionals use that participate in the same sports and activities as you. In addition, here are some additional questions to consider:
The sport(s) you play or want to play has a bearing on the knee brace you should get. If you play soccer for example, then the respective governing associations will not allow you to wear one as the carbon fibre frame is very rigid and hard – posing a threat to an opponent if there is a collision. Check with the rules of your sport to see what style of brace will work best for your needs within the rules.
If you’re into motocross, mountain biking, skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, etc. then a rigid brace like the CTi is probably the best choice for functional support and protection, as it is designed to optimise stability and support for these types of sports without sacrificing performance. The frames are made from Carbon fibre, so they are extremely rigid and strong yet very lightweight, so if you take a fall, the CTi is designed to withstand those forces and help protect your knee.
Injury prevention or post-injury use?
The CTi knee brace is designed to offer maximum protection against injury and re-injury. In extreme sports many wear a knee brace as a preventative measure, the same reason you wear a helmet, protective clothing, a neck brace, boots, etc. For many sports, the use of a rigid knee brace is just part of the standard protective equipment.
For some, only once they have suffered ligament damage, do they realise the importance of bracing. It is commonly accepted that once you’ve had one injury there is an increased risk of it happening again as there is often times an inherent weakness in the joint. In addition, there are long term effects for those who have suffered ligament damage as they are more likely to suffer from degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee.
Injuries requiring a CTi
Of all sporting injuries, damage to the knee is one of the most common.
Just think about what a knee can be subjected to in sports such as football, rugby, netball, squash and tennis.
Consider how easy it is to stress the knee joint from a particular direction by twisting or changing direction quickly. Now think of the forces going through the knee when we compete / participate in sports like motocross, skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, mountain biking, etc. The potential for stress to the knee increases dramatically. As sports have evolved, the demands on athletes’ bodies and the potential for injuries have increased dramatically.
Damage to the ligaments in the knee is by far the most common sporting injury, of which 40% of all ACL injuries occur as a result of extreme sports. The ligaments in the knee help to stabilise the joint.
ACL, PCL, MCL and ACL. Any of these ligaments can be stretched, strained or torn leaving the ligaments permanently damaged if surgery is not successful.
- Grade I injuries stretch the ligament but do not tear any of the fibers
- Grade II injuries partially tear the fibers but leave the ligament intact
- Grade III injuries are a complete disruption of the fibers
Unfortunately many people only find out about ligament protection once they have an injury to protect. So whether it is to protect an existing injury or to prevent against an injury, knee bracing becomes a very important piece of kit for your chosen sport. Choose carefully.
Are you looking for a soft or rigid knee brace?
There are two types of knee braces available, soft supports and rigid supports, which are a reflection of the material used in the manufacturing process.
A soft knee support is typically manufactured from compressive material such as neoprene. These are designed for active use to manage a variety of conditions but offer either compression, stability or both. A compressive knee brace is designed to manage inflammation in the joint to help you remain active for longer. A stability or ligament brace has straps which act as external ligaments whilst also offering compression for complete support of the knee.
A rigid knee brace is designed for extreme sports, the solid nature of the brace is designed to protect against impact damage and subsequent injury. Examples such as the CTi are manufactured from carbon fibre which is lightweight and super strong so that your knee is fully protected should you fall or crash.
What is the CTi knee brace?
The CTi knee brace is manufactured from carbon fibre, a lightweight yet super strong material designed to offer maximum protection of the knee joint against impact damage. 40% of all ACL injuries incurred are as a result of extreme sports, an injury which can lead to up to a year on the sidelines, so wearing a CTi can protect against injury, as well as minimising the risk of a re-occurrence of the injury. Having a rigid exoskeletal support like a CTi helps to support and stabilise the knee while re-distributing harsh forces from the joint to stronger parts of the body.
As well as offering protection against injury, the CTi knee brace also works to offer stability of the joint following ligament damage, helping you to get back on your feet and back into the action faster.
The CTi knee brace is worn by a number of extreme sports professionals.
How to fit your CTi
The CTi Custom is tailor made to your leg shape and therefore requires measuring and fitting from a qualified orthotist. Although the CTi OTS comes in set sizes they are adaptable and should be customised and fitted to the individual by an orthotist.
Once you’ve been through the initial setup process for your CTi Knee Brace you don’t have to do it again, so we’ve put together a condensed version of the fitting video for those who just need some helpful pointers when on the move.
An incorrectly fitted brace may migrate or slip. Once a brace moves out of it’s proper position on the leg it will affect:
- Function – the knee brace will be protecting the natural movement of the joint so the hinge will need to sit alongside the joint in order to work properly.
- Comfort – if the brace doesn’t sit comfortably against the contours of the leg then there may be discomfort, pain or even possible injury. Similarly straps pinching or rubbing could also be uncomfortable or painful.
- Confidence – if you are constantly adjusting or worrying about your brace you will not be optimizing your athletic performance.
Knee brace maintenance
Your brace may end up pretty dirty after a day riding. This mud and water can affect the quality of the brace in the long term, as can the build-up of mud that may damage the padding and hinges. The last thing you want are the hinges of the brace being compromised or damaging the liners, not to mention that next time you go out you don’t want to be putting on a muddy brace before you even start. For this reason, it is very important that you remove mud and dirt to maximise performance and longevity of your brace.
The CTi frame should be washed separately from the soft components of the brace. First, remove all straps and pads from the CTi frame (all straps and pads utilise hook-and-loop and are easily removed). Once removed, wash the straps and pads with a mild, non-detergent soap and let air dry. For the frame, you should first remove any foreign objects from the hinges and clean off any dirt or debris. Then, rinse in fresh water and let air dry. Once both the frame and soft goods are dry, you can reassemble the brace and continue use.
Salt Water Management
The CTi brace is non-corrosive and therefore can be used for all water sports. We do recommend that you wear an over-sleeve when in water as this will keep all your straps in place and firmly attached in high speed falls.
There are various levels of refurbishment available for CTi Custom and CTi OTS braces depending on the amount of service needed.