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Accelerated rehabilitation viable after knee surgery.

KEYSTONE, COLO. -- Rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction can be shortened without harm, so that patients may be able to return to vigorous activity sooner than is now the case. Bruce Beynnon, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

In a study in which 21 patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction were randomized to a regular 32-week program of rehabilitation and 28 patients to a 19-week program, there was no difference in the degree of knee laxity observed 2 years after surgery, Dr. Beynnon said.

Measuring the amount of anterior knee laxity and internal rotation, Dr. Beynnon and his colleagues found that both groups experienced an increase in laxity of 2.8-2.9 mm over the 2 years, and both had an increase in internal rotation of about 2-3 degrees.

Both groups had similar rates of satisfaction, return to daily living, and return to sports, said Dr. Beynnon, of the department of orthopaedics at the University of Vermont, Burlington.

The timing of rehabilitation schedules up until this study has largely been determined by experience and convention, he said. The program used in this study involved many exercises. However, full weight bearing was not allowed until 4 weeks in the regular program, while it was begun at 2 weeks in the accelerated program. Jogging began at 12 weeks in the regular program and 8 weeks in the accelerated program.

Patients in both groups took about the same time, 12 months, to return to full activity. The next step in their research is to see if return to full activity, and even sports, can similarly be accelerated, Dr. Beynnon said.
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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:Kirn, Timothy F.
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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