Home Based Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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Fifty-four patients who underwent arthroscopically assisted anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft or allograft were studied prospectively to compare a postoperative home based rehabilitation program with a clinic based program. Fifty-four patients (mean age, 30 years) were assigned randomly to the home based program (27 patients) or the clinic based program (27 patients). The home based schedule featured six physical therapy visits during a 6-month postoperative study period, whereas the clinic based schedule specified 24 physical therapy visits during those 6 months. All patients entered in the study met strict selection criteria: age older than 15 years, no previous ligament repair or reconstruction, no complicating medical conditions, no collegiate or professional athletes, reconstruction at least 6 weeks after injury, and informed consent. At the 6-month followup, no significant statistical differences were found between the two groups in range of motion, thigh atrophy, anterior drawer compliance, hopping tests, Lysholm scores, or subjective health status scores. Thus, the authors conclude that in a selected group of patients who have undergone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, a home based postoperative rehabilitation program is feasible, safe, and effective.

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