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  • Author: Jacopo E. Rocchi x
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Pier Paolo Mariani, Luca Laudani, Jacopo E. Rocchi, Arrigo Giombini and Andrea Macaluso

Context: All rehabilitative programs before anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery, which are focused on recovery of proprioception and muscular strength, are defined as prehabilitation. While it has shown that prehabilitation positively affects the overall outcome after ACL reconstruction, it is still controversial whether preoperatively enhancing quadriceps strength has some beneficial effect on postoperative strength, mainly during the first period. Objective: To determine whether there is any relationship between preoperative and early postoperative quadriceps strength. Design: Case control. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Fifty-nine males (18–33 y; age: 23.69 [0.71] y) who underwent ACL reconstruction with patellar-tendon autograft were examined the day before surgery, and at 60 and 90 days after surgery. Main Outcome Measures: The limb symmetry index (LSI) was quantified for maximal voluntary isometric contraction of the knee extensor muscles and of the knee flexor muscles at 90° joint angle. A k-means analysis was performed on either quadriceps or hamstrings LSI before surgery to classify the patients in high and low preoperative LSI clusters. Differences in postoperative LSI were then evaluated between the high and low preoperative LSI clusters. Results: Following surgery, there were no differences in the quadriceps LSI between patients with high and low preoperative quadriceps LSI. Sixty days after surgery, the hamstrings LSI was higher in patients with high than low preoperative hamstrings LSI (84.0 [13.0]% vs 75.4 [15.9]%; P < .05). Conclusions: Findings suggest that quadriceps strength deficit is related to the ACL injury and increases further after the reconstruction without any correlation between the preoperative and postoperative values. Therefore, it appears that there is no need to delay surgery in order to increase the preoperative quadriceps strength before surgery.