Design and implementation of a neuromuscular training program following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2001 Nov;31(11):620-31. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2001.31.11.620.


Neuromuscular training programs are increasingly integrated into clinical practice for lower extremity rehabilitation. A few rehabilitation programs have been evaluated for patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deficiency and for injury prevention, but there is limited scientific evidence of the effect of neuromuscular training following ACL reconstruction. Therefore, a neuromuscular training program was developed for patients after ACL reconstruction. The objective of the neuromuscular training was to improve the ability to generate a fast and optimal muscle firing pattern, to increase dynamic joint stability, and to relearn movement patterns and skills necessary during activities of daily living and sports activities. The main areas considered when designing the postoperative rehabilitation program after ACL reconstruction were: ACL graft healing and ACL strain values during exercises, proprioception and neuromuscular control, and clinical studies on the effect of neuromuscular training programs. The rehabilitation program consists of balance exercises, dynamic joint stability exercises, jump training/plyometric exercises, agility drills, and sport-specific exercise. The patients exercise 3 times a week for 6 months. The scientific and clinical evidence for the rehabilitation program are described and the main exercises in the program are outlined.

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiology
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Proprioception
  • Rupture