Evidence-based clinical practice update: practice guidelines for ACL rehabilitation based on a systematic review

The Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy (KNGF) instructed a multidisciplinary group of Dutch anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) experts to develop an evidence statement for rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction. A multidisciplinary working group and steering group systematically reviewed the literature and wrote the guideline. MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library were searched for meta-analyses, systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials and prospective cohort studies published between January 1990 and June 2015.

Ninety studies were included as the basis for the evidence statement. Rehabilitation after ACL injury should include a prehabilitation phase and 3 criterion-based postoperative phases: (1) impairment-based, (2) sport-specific training and (3) return to play. A battery of strength and hop tests, quality of movement and psychological tests should be used to guide progression from one rehabilitation stage to the next. Postoperative rehabilitation should continue for 9-12 months. To assess readiness to return to play and the risk for reinjury, a test battery, including strength tests, hop tests and measurement of movement quality, should be used.

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