Is bracing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction necessary? A 2-year follow-up of 78 consecutive patients rehabilitated with or without a brace

J Kartus, S Stener, K Köhler, N Sernert, B I Eriksson, J Karlsson
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 1997, 5 (3): 157-61
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a standard postoperative rehabilitation knee brace on function, stability and postoperative complications at the 2-year follow-up after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Seventy-eight consecutive patients with a unilateral chronic ACL rupture reconstructed by the same surgeon using the endoscopic "all-inside" technique, patellar tendon autograft and interference screw fixation were included in the study. The rehabilitation followed a standard protocol. Group A included 39 patients who were supplied postoperatively with a knee brace for 4 (range 3-6) weeks. Group B included 39 patients for whom a brace was not used. The median age was 27 (range 16-48) years in group A and 26 (range 14-51) years in group B. The median time period between the injury and the index operation was 24 (range 3-150) months in group A and 18 (range 3-360) months in group B. All 78 patients were re-examined by two independent observers after a median follow-up period of 25 (range 23-28) months in group A and 24 (range 22-27) months in group B. The median KT-1000 total side-to-side difference between the reconstructed and the uninjured knees at 89 N was 3 (range -5.5-11) mm in group A and 3 (range -7-10) mm in group B (NS). When the anterior translation was tested separately at 89 N, the corresponding values were 3 (range -4-13) mm in group A and 3 (range -5-10) mm in group B (NS). The median one-leg hop quotient was 95% (range 50%-167%) of the uninjured leg in group A and 92% (range 64%-119%) in group B (NS). The median Lysholm score was 89 (range 39-100) points in group A and 85 (range 37-100) points in group B (NS). In group A, 27/39 (69%) patients and in group B 21/39 (54%) patients were classified as excellent or good (NS). The median Tegner activity level was 7 (range 3-9) in group A and 6 (range 3-9) in group B (NS). Using the IKDC scale, 27/39 (69%) in group A and 24/39 (62%) in group B were classified as normal or nearly normal (NS). The median sick leave in group A was 62 (range 0-357) days and 59 (range 0-243) days in group B (NS). No serious complications occurred during the first 6 postoperative weeks. Two serious complications were, however, registered after the 6th postoperative week. One patient in group A sustained a rupture of the reconstructed ACL 8 weeks postoperatively (3 weeks after removing the brace), and one patient in group B sustained an undislocated patellar fracture during the 7th postoperative week after a fall. This study indicates that the use of a postoperative rehabilitation brace after an arthroscopic ACL reconstruction did not appear to influence either objective stability or subjective function by the 2-year follow-up.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"