Assessing the need for extensive supervised rehabilitation following arthroscopic ACL reconstruction

Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 1997 Jan;26(1):25-9.


To determine the necessity of extensive supervised therapy, we reviewed the records of 39 consecutive patients who underwent arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using mid-1/3 bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft, followed by a minimal therapy program. This study group was subdivided into a noncompliant group averaging 1.7 visits over 6 months (range, 0 to 5), (subgroup I), and a minimally compliant group averaging 12 visits over 6 months (range, 5 to 24), (subgroup II). Thirty patients who underwent similar surgeries and postoperative protocols, but participated in an extensive supervised outpatient therapy program, served as controls. The control group was fully compliant and averaged 60 visits over 6 months. After 6 months, the minimally compliant study subgroup was equivalent to the fully compliant control group in Lysholm score, patient satisfaction, and return to preoperative activity level. Both of these groups fared better in all of these indices than did the noncompliant subgroup. These results suggest that extensive supervised rehabilitation does not afford a measurable advantage over a minimally supervised program of two visits monthly. Complete noncompliance, however, was associated with suboptimal outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Arthroscopy
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery
  • Endoscopy / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Refusal