Assessment of an accelerated rehabilitation programme after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

L. Selletti, G. Taveggia, G. Grioni, M. Loda, M. Uggeri

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Background. The aim of the present study was to propose and validate an intensive method of re-education in subjects operated by arthroscopy for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with transplant of the patellar tendon (Kenneth-Jones technique). Methods. In line with this aim, all patients underwent COTUR assessment to analyze pain, range of motion attained, possibility of Joint giving way and/or hydrarthrosis, pivot-shift. In addition, the following tests were applied: electromyographic surface examination to monitor the recovery of muscle fibre contractility of the rectus femoris and vastus medialis; the Lachman-Trillat radiographic test 20 days after the operation to verify whether mobilization and early load concession were responsible for traction stress on the neo-ligament; and the isokinetics test carried out before and at different intervals after the operation. Results. On the COTUR assessment, patients obtained a mean final score of 93.48 out of a possible total of 100 (range 75-100). The isokinetic tests showed a progressive reduction of the strength deficit of both flexors and extensors. Values of initial median frequency (IMF) and median frequency (MF) showed more modest differences between healthy and operated sides at 3 months after the operation, than at the examination carried out prior to the operation. Conclusions. The study shows that intensive rehabilitation can be commenced in this pathology in the days immediately following the operation, but should be supported by a through, scrupulous clinical and instrumental monitoring (measure of laxity, functional assessment and strength measurements). The function of the clinical-instrumental monitoring is to guide the rehabilitative programme, its object being to prevent possible femoro-patellar complications, reduce articularity deficits, ensure a greater hold of the ligament at the tibial translation, and permit the resumption of work and/or sporting activity under the most correct physiological conditions of physical performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalEuropa Medicophysica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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