Neuromuscular Training Versus Strength Training During First 6 Months After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Randomized Clinical Trial

May Arna Risberg, Inger Holm, Grethe Myklebust and Lars Engebretsen

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.  Seventy-four subjects with ACL reconstruction 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.  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).  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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