Exercise with blood flow restriction to improve quadriceps function long after ACL reconstruction
Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
Quadriceps atrophy and weakness can persist for years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). We evaluated the effectiveness of a home-based blood flow restriction (BFR) exercise program to increase quadriceps size and strength several years after ACLR. Nine adults with ACLR (5±2 yrs post-surgery, ≤90% symmetry in quadriceps size and strength) and nine uninjured controls volunteered. ACLR participants exercised at home for 25 min, 5×/wk for 4 wks (single-leg knee extension, bodyweight half-squats, walking). Blood flow in only the involved leg was restricted using a thigh cuff inflated to 50% of limb occlusion pressure. Rectus femoris and vastus lateralis thickness and knee extensor strength were measured before and after training. Baseline and post-training symmetry (involved leg/uninvolved leg) indices were compared to uninjured controls. Rectus femoris and vastus lateralis thickness and knee extensor strength in the involved leg increased by 11±5%, 10±6%, and 20±14%, respectively (all P<0.01). Compared to baseline, post-training knee extensor strength symmetry increased from 88±4 to 99±5% (P<0.01) and did not differ from uninjured controls (99±5%, P=0.95). Implementation of BFR exercise at home was feasible, safe and effective. Results extend upon early post-operative application of BFR exercise for ACLR recovery and demonstrate that BFR can improve quadriceps function long after ACLR.
International Journal of Sports Medicine
Kilgas, M. A.,
Drum, S. N.,
Elmer, S. J.
Exercise with blood flow restriction to improve quadriceps function long after ACL reconstruction.
International Journal of Sports Medicine,
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