A systematic review of anterior cruciate ligament primary repair rehabilitation

J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2022 Jan 20:25:101774. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2022.101774. eCollection 2022 Feb.


Background: Rehabilitation after surgery of the injured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is crucial for satisfactory outcomes. Many trials have investigated this process after ACL reconstruction. The treatment of acute ACL ruptures with a repair technique has recently regained interest, although very little information is available about appropriate rehabilitation for such patients. The objective of this review was to evaluate studies on rehabilitation following ACL repair.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines was conducted for patients undergoing a rehabilitation programme after ACL repair. The review has been registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO, Registration number: CRD42020173450). Elements of rehabilitation care we included in our strategy are postoperative bracing, home-based rehabilitation, strengthening exercises, proprioception and neuromuscular training. We searched PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library for randomised trials of any form investigating rehabilitation protocols after repair of the injured ACL. Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility of trials.

Results: No trials were included. Available literature of lower evidence was included for discussion.

Conclusions: No information is available from randomised trials to indicate whether there is any difference between rehabilitation protocols for patients who have undergone primary ACL repair.

Keywords: ACL; Knee injuries; Knee surgery; Orthopaedics; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review