Pre- and Postop Rehab Benefits ACL Reconstruction Patients

September 1, 2016 in STSMPT

A recent study finds that physical therapy before and after surgery results in better outcomes for individuals undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Researchers compared patient-reported knee function outcomes for participants who underwent preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation at a sports medicine clinic with outcomes for those who underwent usual care. The patients ranged from 16 to 40 years old.


The outcomes were measured with the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), which consists of questions about pain, the presence of other symptoms, function in daily living, function in sport and recreation, and knee-related quality of life. Preoperatively, the usual care participants had significantly lower scores than the rehab patients, with more than a 10-point difference in all categories other than the presence of other symptoms. In addition, at 2-year follow-up, the therapy group still had considerably better outcome scores with clinically relevant differences in the symptoms, sports, and quality of life measures.


The rehab group participated in 5 weeks of heavy resistance training, plyometrics, and neuromuscular exercises before surgery. Postoperative therapy was modified to each patient’s needs based on their surgery, graft source, and functional status.


Are you facing an ACL reconstruction surgery? Or perhaps you are post-surgery and need help regaining your strength and lessening your pain. We can design an individualized rehab plan to help you get back up and moving.


Source: Grindem H, Granan L, Risberg M, et al. How does a combined preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation programme influence the outcome of ACL reconstruction 2 years after surgery? A comparison between patients in the Delaware-Oslo ACL Cohort and the Norwegian National Knee Ligament Registry. Br J Sports Med, 2015; 49: 385-389.

ACL Before After Surgery

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