Strength and Functional Performance Recovery After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Preadolescent Athletes

Abstract

BACKGROUND In the skeletally immature population, the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and ACL reconstructions appears to be increasing. Differences in surgical techniques, physiology, and emotional maturity may alter the rehabilitation progression and impact the outcomes when compared with adults. Reports of objective strength recovery and performance-based outcome measures after pediatric ACL reconstruction (ACLR) are limited. STUDY DESIGN Retrospective case series. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level 4. METHODS All patients that underwent all-epiphyseal ACLR from January 2008 to August 2010 were identified. Isokinetic peak quadriceps/hamstring torque values and functional performance measures in unilateral hopping tasks were extracted and compared with the noninjured limb. A limb symmetry index (LSI) of ≥90% was considered satisfactory. RESULTS Complete data were available for 16 patients (mean age, 12.28 years; range, 8.51-14.88 years). By a mean 7 months (range, 3.02-12.56 years) postoperatively, only 9 of 16 (56%) were able to achieve a satisfactory LSI for quadriceps strength. For hamstring strength, 15 of 16 (94%) were able to achieve satisfactory LSI. By a mean of 12 months (range, 5.39-24.39 months) postoperatively, only 6 of 16 subjects (38%) were able to achieve satisfactory performance on all functional hop tests. At a mean 15.42 months (range, 8.58-24.39 months) postsurgery, only 4 of 16 (25%) subjects were able to achieve an LSI of ≥90% on all testing parameters. CONCLUSION For some pediatric patients, significant strength and functional deficits may be present at greater than 1 year after ACLR. This population may require more prolonged rehabilitation programs to allow for adequate recovery of strength and function because of unique characteristics of normal growth and development.

DOI: 10.1177/1941738114537594

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@inproceedings{Greenberg2014StrengthAF, title={Strength and Functional Performance Recovery After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Preadolescent Athletes}, author={Elliot M. Greenberg and Eric T. Greenberg and Theodore J . Ganley and John Todd R. Lawrence}, booktitle={Sports health}, year={2014} }