Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury and reconstruction surgeries are common among young athletes, who are frequently involved in sports activities. Research suggests that ACL injuries among sportsmen have the longest disability time and the most expensive to treat. The pre and post-operative rehabilitation exercise of ACL ruptures continues to be controversial.
Objectives: The aim of this review is to systematically review the current evidence of the exercise therapy for pre and post-operative stages, and to identify uncovered issues for future investigations.
Methods: Three databases: Medline, Pedro, and Cinahl were searched for all published literature from 1975 to 2017 using key words such as, "ACL reconstruction" and other synonyms. 140 citations were identified, based on the predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria, and further analyzed.
Results: It is necessary that rehabilitation of the ACL injury begins immediately after the first office evaluation. Sufferers who plan an ACL reconstructive surgery should have a discussion with their therapists before the surgery about pre-operative treatment options. Several effective exercises were identified and presented in this paper.
Conclusion: A structured pre and post-operative rehabilitation program can significantly decrease the incidence of joint stiffness and other complications in injured knees, and help the athletes to return to play on time. The authors presented a validated rehabilitation protocol, which can significantly decrease post-operative complications if applied properly. Finally, this study identified several gaps in literature regarding the effectiveness of physiotherapy modalities like, electrotherapeutic interventions, in the management of such injuries.