News study affirms Great Basin Orthopaedics practice of PT after ACL surgery

The physicians of Great Basin Orthopaedics have long stressed post-surgical physical therapy as an essential part of a successful ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction. A new literature review recently published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) confirms this practice as much more effective bracing with no postoperative physical therapy.

A team of orthopaedic surgeons reviewed 29 studies regarding treatment following reconstructive ACL surgery. They found that physical therapy–including strength, range-of-motion, and functionality exercises–begun shortly after surgery, can bring about very good outcomes for patients. Ideally, the therapy should begin within a few days after surgery. Bracing showed no signs of improving results.
 
The ACL runs through the middle of the knee joint and helps to stabilize it. While the ACL can be injured through impact, it is most commonly strained or torn during non-contact injuries. ACL tears are a common injury for athletes who turn quickly, land hard, and otherwise stress their knees including basketball, tennis, soccer, and football players. However, anyone can tear their ACL doing something as mundane as falling off a curb.
 
ACL injuries often require reconstructive surgery, with post-surgical rehabilitative therapy, to regain full function. These therapies usually focus on improving the patient's strength, range of motion, and function, and also may include some balance exercises.
 
"Physical therapy has always been an integral part of our ACL reconstruction protocol,” explains Thomas Fyda, MD, a partner at Great Basin Orthopaedics and a Sports Medicine specialist. “Any PT program should be started within days of surgery and continue until the knee has regained full function, or as much function as the surgeon believes is attainable. The early days tend to be a bit painful and challenging, but they will benefit the patient in the long run.”
 
Great Basin Orthopaedics has been providing exceptional orthopaedic care to Northern Nevada since 1964. Surgeons Thomas Fyda, MD and Richard Hayes, MD provide thoughtful care for patients with a variety of orthopaedic conditions with sub specialty expertise in the areas of Sports Medicine and Foot/Ankle. New patients can typically be seen within a week.
 
Reference material for this article was found at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website, http://newsroom.aaos.org/media-resources/Press-releases/brace-yourself.htm, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00549