PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to report current rehabilitation recommendations after ACL reconstruction in ESSKA community, with a particular focus on the specific criteria utilized to guide activity progression METHODS: A web-based survey was developed to investigate preferences between time-based and functional ACL reconstruction rehabilitation progression milestones of ESSKA community.
RESULTS: Eight hundred and twenty completed questionnaires were received. Responders were from 86 different countries worldwide, 63% of them from European countries. Functional criteria were considered more appropriate to decide if a patient can start specific activities/exercises by 67% of the responders. Good core and lower extremity neuromuscular control were the most often used functional criteria for decision-making regarding readiness for sport-specific rehabilitation (66%), sport-specific drills without (65%) and with contact (66%). Strength assessed with an isokinetic dynamometer was considered by about half of the responders a determinant to initiate sport-specific drills without (51%-isokinetic strength, LSI > 80%) and with contact (58%-isokinetic strength, LSI > 85-90%). To determine readiness for sport-specific drills, hop tests were used by 40% of respondents for drills without contact and 48% of respondents for drills with contact.
CONCLUSION: The results of this survey involving mainly orthopaedic surgeons indicate that functional measures are considered more appropriate than milestones based on time from surgery to guide progression through the postoperative rehabilitation process after ACLR. The main clinical relevance of this study is that updated information on collective agreement could be useful for clinicians and physiotherapists to delineate their postoperative treatments after ACLR. These results should be interpreted with caution, as this sample represents only a small portion of ESSKA community involved in knee surgery and treating patients following ACLR.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
- Anterior cruciate ligament
- Functional criteria
- Time-based criteria