The outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed and rehabilitated knees versus healthy knees: a functional comparison

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2012;46(3):186-95. doi: 10.3944/aott.2012.2366.


Objective: In this study, we aimed to evaluate and compare the functional performance and muscle strength of cases of ACL reconstruction using bone-patellar tendon-bone graft followed by rehabilitation with those of healthy subjects.

Methods: This study included fifteen patients (range: 20 to 35 years) who underwent ACL reconstruction 18 to 24 months previously and a control group of 15 healthy volunteers with similar characteristics. Cases were evaluated with physical examinations, functional tests, subjective scales (Lysholm, Hospital for Special Surgery Knee Score (HSSS), and Tegner activity scale) and isokinetic test. Differences between the reconstruction group and control group were analyzed.

Results: Significant differences were found in the activity level of the reconstruction group (p<0.05) and in the clinical findings of the subjects with involved and uninvolved legs (p<0.05). When the reconstructed and control groups were compared according to the limb symmetry index, there were significant differences in single-leg hop test, timed hop test, shuttle run and stair hop test (p<0.05). The study also revealed a significant correlation between the vertical hop and quadriceps strength in the isokinetic test (r=0.56). When the operated knees were compared to the healthy side, mean limb symmetry index was over 92% (with two cases at 88%). When the dominant leg was compared to the non-dominant leg in the control group, the mean limb symmetry index was over 95%.

Conclusion: Functional outcomes similar to those of healthy legs can be achieved following ACL reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone grafting and rehabilitation. The similar functional test results of the operated and healthy subjects prove the effectiveness of the rehabilitation program.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function
  • Young Adult