Publication: Principles of postoperative anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation
It is known that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction needs to be combined with detailed postoperative rehabilitation in order for patients to return to their pre-injury activity levels, and that the rehabilitation process is as important as the reconstruction surgery. Literature studies focus on how early in the postoperative ACL rehabilitation period rehabilitation modalities can be initiated. Despite the sheer number of studies on this topic, postoperative ACL rehabilitation protocols have not been standardized yet. Could common, -ossified- knowledge or modalities really prove themselves in the literature? Could questions such as -is postoperative brace use really necessary?-, -what are the benefits of early restoration of the range of motion (ROM)?-, -to what extent is neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) effective in the protection from muscular atrophy?-, -how early can proprioception training and open chain exercises begin?-, -should strengthening training start in the immediate postoperative period?- be answered for sure? My aim is to review postoperative brace use, early ROM restoration, NMES, proprioception, open/closed chain exercises and early strengthening, which are common modalities in the very comprehensive theme of postoperative ACL rehabilitation, on the basis of several studies (Level of Evidence 1 and 2) and to present the commonly accepted ways they are presently used. Moreover, I have presented the objectives of postoperative ACL rehabilitation in tables and recent miscellaneous studies in the last chapter of the paper. (C) 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.