Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Follow-up

Updated: Jul 16, 2018
  • Author: Tarek O Souryal, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Follow-up

Deterrence

See Causes .

In a paper published by Hewett and coauthors, a jump training program was recommended strongly. [26] Another paper, by Wojtys and colleagues, showed that plyometrics and exercises requiring agility, such as running through cones, figure eights, and single leg jumps, are proven methods to improve muscle reaction time significantly. [27]

Ultimately, physical conditioning and balanced knee strengthening (hamstrings as well as quadriceps) are the keys to reducing the risk of an ACL tear.

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Complications

Complications from ACL surgery generally arise during surgery (see Allograft Reconstruction, ACL-Deficient Knee). Complications include the following:

  • Extravasation of irrigation fluid during arthroscopy

  • Posterior femoral cortex compromise during endoscopic reaming of the femoral tunnel

  • Paresthesias along the lateral aspect of the knee

  • Improper handling of the graft (eg, dropping it on the floor)

  • Bruising and/or hematoma formation

  • Blood loss

  • Improper alignment of the tunnels, causing graft impingement

  • Improper graft placement, making the graft too short and thus not allowing the knee to reach full terminal extension

The main complication of ACL surgery during the postoperative period is rupture of the graft. Careful and conservative physical therapy (PT) during the first 8-12 weeks is important (see Physical Therapy).

Another complication that can develop after surgery is failure to achieve full knee extension (see Physical Therapy).

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Prognosis

Most patients achieve good health and mobility after treatment for ACL injury. More than 75% of all patients who undergo ACL repair return to their previous level of functioning. They perform ADL without difficulty and return to participation in their previous sporting or recreational activities.

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Patient Education

See the list below:

  • See Physical Therapy.

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