Adherence to Rehabilitation after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructive Surgery: Implications for Outcome

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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To investigate the relationship between adherence to rehabilitation and outcome after reconstructive surgery of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).


A prospective cohort study with adherence to rehabilitation evaluated over 8 weeks correlated with outcomes at 9 and 12 months postsurgery.


68 patients who had undergone ACL-reconstructive surgery.

Main Outcome Measures:

Adherence was measured to and during appointments and by a self-report diary of home exercise. Outcomes were measured by 6 knee-function scales and 2 hop tests.


There was a significant relationship between home-exercise adherence and many outcomes for participants under 30 years of age (rs = .33-.44). For participants age 30 and over there was a negative relationship between home-exercise adherence and outcome. There were no significant relationships between adherence to and during physical therapy appointments and outcome after ACL-reconstructive surgery.


Participants under 30 years of age who adhered to their home-exercise regimen had better functional outcome, whereas adherent participants age 30 and over experienced worse outcome with better home-exercise adherence.

The authors are with the Musculoskeletal Research Centre, School of Physiotherapy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086 Australia.