Introduction: The use of rehabilitation protocol which corresponds to surgical technique results in optimal postoperative outcome and functional recovery of patients to a pre-injury level of activity. The aim of this paper is to show the effects of the official rehabilitation protocol in our Institute on functional recovery of patients after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
Patients and methods: In prospective study, we evaluated 70 males after ACL reconstruction using hamstring graft. Patients were divided into two groups according to the manner of conducting the postoperative rehabilitation. Group A consisted of 35 patients that followed postoperative rehabilitation according to the rehabilitation protocol. Group B also 35 patients, which did not undergo the rehabilitation protocol. We evaluated thigh muscle circumference and modified Tegner Lysholm Score, preoperatively and postoperatively after 1,3,6 and 12 months. In the statistical analysis, the Studentov T-test was used.
Results: In the first postoperative month, the difference between groups in thigh muscle circumference is statistically significant (p<0,05). This difference between groups is statistically highly significant after 3, 6, and 12 months postoperative (p<0,01). Results of the modified Tegner Lysholm Score is statistically highly significant in 1, 3 and 6 postoperative months in patients from the experimental group (p<0,01).
Conclusion: The positive effects of the rehabilitation protocol results in significant increase of the thigh muscle circumference and faster functional recovery of patients after ACL reconstruction.
Keywords: anterior cruciate ligament; reconstruction; rehabilitation protocol.