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The Accelerated Rehabilitation Protocol for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: a comparison of 14 subjects

1 May 2003


The knee is a complex structure with four primary ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. Out of these four ligaments the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured. The components of an accelerated ACL rehabilitation program include: prevention of edema, restoration of full extension, early full weight bearing, restoration of flexion, quadriceps strengthening, early sports-specific activities and return to sports. 1 The purpose of this study was to examine patient outcomes following an accelerated rehabilitation protocol by static group comparisons of: side of graft harvest, gender, physician, and time frame status/post surgery in 14 subjects following ACL reconstructive surgery. Patients included in this study were 1 to 2.1 years postoperative. Fourteen subjects were randomly selected by two physicians and evaluated, by the researchers, according to the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) knee rating system. Results showed a gender difference for range of motion (ROM), with a female mean 0[143° and a male mean of 138°. Those patients who hadjpsi1ateral graft ACL reconstructions showed significantly increased index knee active and passive flexion, and opposite knee passive flexion measurements when compared to patients that underwent contralateral grafts (ipsilateral index knee active flexion = 143° and contralateral = 134°; ipsilateral index knee passive flexion = 153° and contralateral = 146°; ipsilateral opposite knee passive flexion = 153° and contralateral = 149°). No statistically significant differences were found when comparing physicians, but gender and harvest site comparisons showed disparity. However, clinical significance remains a question.


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