Functional training for the purpose of restoring dynamic joint stability has received considerable interest in recent years. Contemporary functional training programs are being designed to complement, rather than replace, traditional rehabilitation protocols. The purpose of this clinical commentary is to present a management strategy for restoring dynamic stability in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)-injured knee. The strategy presented integrates five key concepts: (a) planned variation of exercise, (b) outcomes-based assessment, (c) kinetic chain exercise, (d) proprioception and neuromuscular control, and (e) specificity of activity. Pertinent research findings and a clinical rationale are provided for using functional training in the restoration of dynamic stability in the PCL-injured knee.
Paul A. Borsa is with the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Division of Kinesiology, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214. Eric L. Sauers is with the Sports Medicine/Disabilities Research Laboratory at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Scott M. Lephart is with the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.