Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament & Meniscal Injuries

Ligament Injuries

Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament & Meniscal Injuries

The paper we Reviewed for you this week is one of several systematic reviews contributing to the development of evidence-based consensus recommendations for rehabilitation to optimize musculoskeletal health and prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA) following knee trauma (OPTIKNEE).

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscal tears are the most common traumatic knee injuries in athletes. Often, surgery is performed to repair the tear in order to restore mechanical stability, facilitate return to competitive sport and prevent secondary injury. However, two-thirds of patients don’t return to pre-injury level within the following year post ACL reconstruction and approximately 25% sustain a second ACL injury. In the long term, patients commonly report knee symptoms, as well as functional deficits and impaired quality of life. Furthermore, half of injured individuals will subsequently develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis within 10 years, regardless of undergoing operative or non-operative treatment.

Clinical practice guidelines emphasize the importance of active rehabilitation following an ACL injury and reconstruction in order to restore muscle strength and lower limb function, reduce pain and symptoms, and safely return to competitive sport without reinjury. However, there is little consensus on the optimal components of ACL rehabilitation, reflecting a lack of evidence and substantial heterogeneity in rehabilitation protocols. The aim of this systematic review was to critically appraise and synthesize systematic review evidence of RCTs evaluating rehabilitation interventions following ACL or meniscal injury to improve symptomatic, functional, clinical, psychosocial or quality of life outcomes and prevent reinjury.

RESEARCH REVIEW: “Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament & Meniscal Injuries – Best Evidence”

This paper was published in BJSM (2022) and this Review is posted in Knee, Rehabilitation and the 2023 Archive.

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