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Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, rehabilitation, and return to play: 2015 update

Authors Nyland J, Mattocks A, Kibbe S, Kalloub A, Greene J, Caborn D

Received 11 August 2015

Accepted for publication 30 December 2015

Published 24 February 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 21—32


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

John Nyland,1,2 Alma Mattocks,1 Shane Kibbe,2 Alaa Kalloub,2,3 Joe W Greene,4 David N M Caborn2,3

1Athletic Training Program, Kosair Charities College of Health and Natural Sciences, Spalding University, Louisville, KY, USA; 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA; 3Shea Orthopedic Group, Louisville, KY, USA; 4Norton Orthopedic and Sports, Louisville, KY, USA

Abstract: Anatomical discoveries and a growing appreciation of the knee as a complex organ are driving innovations in patient care decision-making following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Surgeons are increasing their efforts to restore combined mechanical-neurosensory ACL function and placing more consideration on when to reconstruct versus repair native anatomical structures. Surgical options now include primary repair with or without reinforcing the injured ACL with suture-based internal bracing, and growing evidence supports biological augmentation using platelet-rich plasma and mesenchymal stem cells to enhance tissue healing. Physical therapists and athletic trainers are increasing their efforts to facilitate greater athlete cognitive engagement during therapeutic exercise performance to better restore nonimpaired neuromuscular control activation amplitude and timing. Knee brace design and use needs to evolve to better match these innovations and their influence on the rehabilitation plan timetable. There is a growing appreciation for the multifaceted characteristics of the rehabilitation process and how they influence neuromuscular, educational, and psychobehavioral treatment goal achievement. Multiple sources may influence the athlete during the return to sports process and clinical outcome measures need to be refined to better evaluate these influences. This update summarizes contemporary ACL surgical, medical, and rehabilitation interventions and future trends.

Keywords: arthroscopy, knee, function, outcomes, decision-making

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