Blood Flow Restriction Improves the Rehabilitation Process in Anterior Cruciate ligament Reconstruction Among Collegiate Athletes: A Critically Appraised Topic
Jennifer Savage, Kinesiology; Christopher Clark, Kinesiology
10:15-10:25am | Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor
Context: Muscle weakness and muscle atrophy are commonly experienced after a musculoskeletal injury occurs. For example, after an athlete has anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery, there is typically muscle atrophy of the quadriceps muscle group. Athletic trainers are constantly researching methods to improve rehabilitation techniques. Blood flow restriction (BFR) is an emerging therapeutic modality that utilizes a pneumatic to limit the amount of blood flow to an extremity. The purpose of this critically appraised topic is to evaluate the effectiveness of blood flow restriction training post-surgically for the ACL in the population of collegiate athletes.
Methods: A computerized search was completed in October 2022. The search terms used were “blood flow restriction”, “ACL reconstruction”, “ACL rehabilitation protocol”, and “perioperative ACL rehabilitation”. Electronic databases used were Jacksonville State University Library, PubMed, and Sports Discus. Inclusion criteria: Studies involving BFR training, studies that were in the English language, and studies evaluating ACL rehabilitation. Exclusion criteria: Studies that included additional injuries other than ACL rupture with meniscus and studies focused on the geriatric population. Validity of the selected studies was determined using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale and the Strengthening in the Reporting of Observations Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE). One author independently reviewed the studies, scored each paper, and reviewed the completed appraisals to come to a consensus on study quality
Results: The literature search retrieved seven total articles and three were excluded based upon exclusion criteria, resulting in four studies. Research has shown that a longer duration of moderate pressure BFR training (15 weeks) combined with low resistance muscular training may increase the quadriceps cross-sectional area to a greater extent than low resistance training alone. Additionally, the sets and repetitions should be 1 set of 30, followed by 3 sets of 15. Studies showed that BFR was a quality modality to be used during ACL reconstruction rehabilitation when compared to not using BFR.
Conclusion: BFR is a reliable modality when used in post-surgical cases for ACL reconstruction, with results showing improvement in hypertrophy of the quadriceps and hamstring groups. Future research should include the effects of BFR post-surgically on an upper body injury such as a labral tear or rotator cuff tear. In addition, future studies can also be conducted on the long term cardiological effects of BFR, along with how long term BFR use affects muscular function.
student research, kinesiology
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Files, Justin, "Blood Flow Restriction Improves the Rehabilitation Process in Anterior Cruciate ligament Reconstruction Among Collegiate Athletes: A Critically Appraised Topic" (2023). JSU Student Symposium 2023. 30.