Effectiveness of lateral slide exercise in an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction rehabilitation home exercise program

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Study Design: Two-group repeated measures design using a sample of convenience of subjects with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Objectives: To determine the effect of incorporating one specific weight-bearing exercise (lateral slide exercise using a slide board) into an ACL reconstruction home exercise program. Background: Reduced clinic visits have increased the importance of home exercise programs in knee ligament reconstruction rehabilitation. Few studies have been conducted to test the efficacy of specific exercises as part of a home-based treatment program on subjects who have undergone ACL reconstruction. Methods and Measures: Fourteen subjects who underwent patella tendon autograft reconstruction on one of their ACLs were studied. Testing consisted of the following 4 measurements: peak isometric knee extension torque, peak isometric knee flexion torque, maximum lateral step height, and lateral step-up repetitions to fatigue. Subjects were pretested at 8 weeks after surgery and were randomly placed into either a control or experimental group. The postsurgical rehabilitation was similar for both groups, except the experimental group incorporated lateral slide exercise into their home exercise program. All subjects were re-evaluated 14 weeks after surgery. Results: A 2-way repeated measure ANOVA (group by test session), and posthoc testing revealed significant improvements in the slide group for quadricep strength (101.9 ± 31.3 N m to 140.5 ± 31.3 N m of torque), while the control group showed no significant increase (125.1 ± 61.7 N m to 125.8 ± 45.1 N m of torque). Lateral step height also improved in the slide group (from 22.9 ± 5.3 cm to 28.7 ± 5.6 cm), while the control group showed no increase (20.0 ± 4.5 cm to 20.7 ± 3.4 cm). Both groups increased in lateral step-up repetitions to fatigue. Conclusion: Including lateral slide exercise in a home exercise program after ACL reconstruction appears to improve knee extension strength.

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Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy