Objective: To evaluate the actual date of the return to activity and its impact on the postsurgical stability of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) using hamstring grafts.
Design: A retrospective analysis. The time of return to activity was determined by a questionnaire at 24 to 36 months after ACLRs.
Setting: An orthopedic center.
Participants: Fifty consecutive patients who had ACLRs using hamstring grafts 24 to 36 months earlier.
Interventions: Not applicable. Main outcome measure The time of return to activity from a questionnaire and serial KT-2000 data at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postsurgery.
Results: Patients were divided into 2 groups according to their KT-2000 side-to-side difference at 12, 18, and 24 months postsurgery. Group I consisted of patients whose differences were 3mm or less. Group II consisted of patients whose differences were more than 3mm. At 12 and 18 months postsurgery, significant differences were detected for the time of return to running and full-speed running. A multiple regression analysis for postsurgical stability at 24 months and the time of return to these 5 activities indicated that the time of return to full-speed running and sports activities had an effect on ACL stability.
Conclusions: An early return to vigorous activities is not recommended in patients undergoing ACLRs with hamstring grafts.