Current Evidence in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rehabilitation: Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Combined With a Strengthening Program: A Critically Appraised Topic

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Michael E. Lynch LAT, ATC1 and Christine A. Lauber EdD, LAT, ATC2
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  • 1 Indiana University
  • | 2 University of Indianapolis
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Clinical Question:

Is it beneficial to add neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) to a strengthening program after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery?

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is sufficient evidence to support the inclusion of NMES in a rehabilitation strengthening program post ACL reconstruction. All three included studies reported significant quadriceps strength gains (p < .05) in favor of the group that completed both NMES and strengthening exercises compared with a strength-only group. Two studies initiated NMES within 4 days of surgery. One study found significant quadriceps strength increases when NMES was implemented 6 months after surgery.

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