In a recent post on the Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy blog, it refers to a pilot study of ACL reconstructive patients. In the study, 20 patients with recent ACL ruptures were randomly selected from two orthopedic practices and 11 were placed into an intervention group and 9 were placed into the control group. All patients were males between the ages of 18 and 45 and had isolated ACL ruptures with no evidence of meniscal damage, fractures or other comorbitities that would preclude the individual from an exercise program.
The intervention group enrolled in a 6-week exercise program with an emphasis on lower body strength development and proprioceptive training. The individuals trained 4 times a week with 2 sessions at a physical therapy center and 2 sessions of supervised home exercise. The control group was not given an exercise program but were NOT discouraged from exercise and encouraged to continue daily activities that were pain free. Following surgical repair both groups received standardized physical therapy sessions equal in nature.
The results were staggering! “Of particular importance was that on average patients in the PG returned to sport in 34.2 weeks versus 42.5 weeks in the CG though this did not reach statistical significance (P=0.055).” Although the results were not statistically significant and the size of the study was limited, if you told an athlete he could return to sport 8 weeks earlier, we dont know any athlete, parent or coach that would not think that was significant. In fact, we think it is BEYOND BETTER! Sports Medicine South’s Physical Therapy department is equipped to provide the best in pre and post surgical care!