Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with hamstring or patellar tendon autograft has been the gold standard for the operative treatment of an ACL rupture for many years. Repair with Internal Brace Ligament Augmentation (IBLA) is a new technique that uses ultra-high strength tape (FiberTape, Arthrex, Naples, FL, USA) to bridge the ligament. This technique reinforces the ligament as a secondary stabiliser, encouraging natural healing of the ligament by protecting it during the healing phase and supporting early mobilisation.
Case description: This retrospective case report focuses on the rehabilitation of a 21-year-old male professional soccer player who ruptured his ACL in a contact injury whilst playing a competitive game. He underwent ACL repair with IBLA two weeks following injury. The six-month rehabilitation programme consisted of gradual progressions for mobility, proprioception, strengthening, cardiovascular maintenance and running in conjunction with physiotherapy to assist with the maintenance of soft tissue quality, pain management and control of oedema.
Results: After completing the rehabilitation programme, the patient returned to unrestricted sporting activity within six months. At 18-month follow-up, the patient continues to play at the same competitive level without any issues.
Conclusion: This rehabilitation programme after ACL repair with IBLA successfully enabled a professional soccer player to return to his pre-injury playing level.