High-impact injuries

Gen3 leg brace, 2008

An F1™ car needs to maintain maximum contact with the racetrack in order to achieve top speed. To stop the car bouncing off uneven surfaces, special devices known as hydraulic dampers are used to absorb the energy of bumps and so keep the car on the road.

F1™ engineers have now found a way to use this technology in a special lightweight leg support to help reduce damage and injuries to the knee.

The brace has been tested on US marines, who regularly get injured while standing in fast-moving inflatable boats. As the boats hit the water, the marines’ knees absorb the impact – an experience similar to jumping off a 2½ metre wall every few seconds. The brace helps control the bending of the knee and realigns the leg before the next impact. It also has potential to help in the healing of knees after surgery.

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