Documentation of strength training for research purposes after ACL reconstruction

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Aug;21(8):1849-55. doi: 10.1007/s00167-012-2167-3. Epub 2012 Aug 17.


Purpose: The purpose of this systematic literature review was to evaluate strength training protocol documentation during rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The aim was further to present recommendations concerning what components (i.e. methods, principles and training variables) could be considered vital to document when it comes to strength training for research purposes after ACL reconstruction.

Methods: A search of the PUBMED/MEDLINE, CINAHL and SportDiscus databases was made of relevant literature relating to strength training after ACL reconstruction. The database search was based on relevant medical subject headings terms (strength/resistance/weight training, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction/rehabilitation). The literature was reviewed regarding the way methods and variables were documented in strength training protocols during rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction in peer-reviewed original prospective articles.

Results: The systematic literature search identified 139 citations published between January 1983 and May 2012. Six studies contained a strength training programme-part of the rehabilitation protocol after ACL reconstruction that met the inclusion criteria. Basic information (i.e. training frequency, intensity, volume, progression or the duration of the training period) regarding the strength training protocols used during rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction was not documented in full in four of the studies.

Conclusion: The results clearly indicate the need of a more standardised and detailed way of documenting strength training for research purposes after ACL reconstruction in order to increase the value of future studies on this subject. This review gives recommendations on strength training protocol documentation after ACL reconstruction to facilitate this goal.

Level of evidence: IV.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / rehabilitation*
  • Documentation / standards*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Resistance Training*