GOLDEN OLDIE - Effect of physiotherapy attendance on outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a pilot study

Review written by Mick Hughes info

Key Points

  1. Physiotherapist-led rehabilitation is a key ingredient to the positive long-term outcomes following ACLR; however questions remain as to “how much face-to-face rehabilitation is required to achieve a satisfactory outcome?”.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Physiotherapist-led rehabilitation is a key component following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Rehabilitation programs are designed to reduce pain and swelling, and restore ROM, strength and neuromuscular control.

Previous research looking into the number of physiotherapy attendances for intensive rehabilitation is quite staggering. One study reported an average of 39 visits over a 4-month period (1), and another reported an average of 60 visits over a 6-month period (2). Such high levels of face-to-face attendance represents a significant time and financial cost to both the patient and the healthcare system.

The objective of this study was to determine whether a satisfactory outcome could be achieved in a group of ACLR patients with only minimal physiotherapy attendance, compared to a group of ACLR patients who attended physiotherapy regularly.

Physiotherapist-led rehabilitation is a key component following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
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We should empower patients to take ownership of their ACL rehab.

METHODS

20 ACLR patients (mean age 27, 80% males) were included in this pilot study. This was the first ACLR for each of these patients, and all had either an autograft hamstring or autograft patella tendon reconstruction.

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