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Since 1983 the CTi has been providing protection and support to the knee joint. The knee has to sustain large forces passing through it, especially in extreme, high impact sports. To stabilise the knee joint there are numerous structures that form the joint. Ligaments are tissues which connect bone to other bones, in the case of the knee the thigh bone to the shin bone. Ligaments provide a high level of support to the joint, but they can only withstand so much force. The CTi brace is designed to offer rigid support that can withstand high forces and protect the structures within the knee joint.
The initial idea and designs for the brace came from Californian Jim Castillo. A keen motocross rider and skier who severely damaged his knee after being hit by a car. Below shows some of the early prototypes and releases. As you can see it is a far cry from the current design but the principles of a rigid frame and non-elastic straps have remained the same.
The first version of the CTi was released in 1983 by Innovation Sports, set up by Jim and his brother Ed with endorsement and investment from renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman. Named after the Carbon (C) frame and Titanium (Ti) hinges and tested on skiers, the first brace sold was actually to a motocross rider. It has since become a staple of many riders kit and established itself as one of the most popular options for knee bracing in extreme sports. Introduced in 1994 was an Off The Shelf version of the CTi called the Edge brace. This further cemented its place within the dirt bike market by providing a less expensive and more adjustable brace whilst still maintaining the high level of control that the principles of the brace were designed upon.
In 2006 Icelandic company Össur acquired Innovation Sports and began to manufacture the CTi knee brace. Össur was founded in 1971 by prosthetist Össur Kristinsson and has grown into one of the world leaders in non-invasive orthopaedics, known for its use of silicon and carbon fibre in manufacturing lower limb prosthetics. This same technology would help in the advancement of the CTi brace, integrating the Össur Sensil Silicone into the CTi liners in 2007.
Össur continues to develop the CTi knee brace, working with customers to ascertain feedback and ensure that it remains the best knee brace on the market for extreme sports.