Neuromuscular training versus strength training during first 6 months after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A randomized clinical trial

Author(s): Risberg MA, Holm I, Myklebust G, Engebretsen L


Background and purpose:The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a 6-month neuromuscular training (NT) program versus a traditional strength training (ST) program following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Subjects:Seventy-four subjects with ACL reconstruction participated in the study.

Methods:The study was a randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial. The NT and ST groups were tested preoperatively and at 3 and 6 months. The main outcome measure was the Cincinnati Knee Score. Secondary outcome measures were visual analog scales (VASs) for pain and function, the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), hop tests, isokinetic muscle strength, proprioception, and static and dynamic balance tests.

Results:The NT group demonstrated significantly improved Cincinnati Knee Scores and VAS scores for global knee function compared with the ST group at the 6-month follow-up. There were no significant differences between the groups for the other outcome measures (ie, hop, balance, proprioception, and muscle strength tests).

Discussion and conclusion:The results of this study suggest that exercises included in the NT program should be part of the rehabilitation program following ACL reconstruction.

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