Home-Based Rehab After ACL RepairCan patients rehab at home after an ACL repair? How do their results compare to patients who are directly supervised in physical therapy (PT)? This study compared patients in both programs and reports the results.
Active and passive knee range of motion and strength were the measures used to compare results. All patients did the same program for three months. They started one week after surgery.
The home-based group met with a physical therapist four times during the three months after surgery. Exercises were progressed through each phase of recovery.
The PT-based group went to rehab sessions twice a week for the first seven weeks. They went once a week during weeks eight through 12. The PT-based group had a total of 17 sessions with the therapist during the three months after surgery.
The authors report more patients in the home-based group had better motion (measured at rest). Motion was the same during walking. There was no difference in strength between the two groups.
The results of this study suggest that patients with ACL reconstructions are able to rehab on their own. They need a few sessions with the physical therapist to get started and keep on track.
The results were based on three months of rehab. Longer follow-up is needed to see if the results are the same months to years later.
John A. Grant, MD, PhD, et al. Comparison of Home Versus Physical Therapy-Supervised Rehabilitation Programs After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. September 2005. Vol. 33. No. 9. Pp. 1288-1297.
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