A Case Study of an Accelerated Rehabilitation Program on Knee Function Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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John A. Nyland
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Dean P. Currier
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J. Michael Ray
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Mitchell J. Duby
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This paper discusses function changes during an accelerated rehabilitation program at 6, 10, and 52 weeks postsurgery for a college athlete following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction/meniscectomy of the left knee. The effects of combined pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on knee extensor torque, thigh girth, and pain level are presented. PEMF-NMES decreased stimulation pain by 76%. Knee extensor isometric torque increased by 23%, and thigh girth decreased less than 5% at 6 weeks. Knee extensor isokinetic torque was 13% and 3% deficient at 90°/s and 240°/s, and standing single-leg broad jump distance was 19% deficient at 10 weeks. Knee extensor isokinetic torque was 1% and 1.5% greater at 90°/s and 240°/s, and standing single-leg broad jump distance was 11% deficient at 52 weeks. Knee anterior laxity was 2 mm at 10 weeks and 3 mm at 52 weeks. PEMF-NMES appears to comfortably enhance knee extensor torque gains and diminish thigh girth loss. Despite early return to practice, functional deficit remained and anterior laxity was increased at 52 weeks.

Nyland and Currier are with the Division of Physical Therapy, University of Kentucky. Ray is with the Department of Orthopedics, Section of Sports Medicine, University of Kentucky. Duby is with the University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Center and Georgetown College. Request reprints from John A. Nyland, Division of Physical Therapy, UKMC, Annex 2, Lexington, KY 40536-0079.

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