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Cross-education to accelerate recovery after ACL surgery

Can cross-education improve self-reported knee function and leg strength after ACL surgery?

Quadriceps weakness after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is associated with poor self-reported knee function, but loading the quadriceps is difficult in the early phase after ACL surgery. 

Cross-education, which is the increase in muscle strength on one side after training the homologous muscles on the opposite side, could minimise the strength loss after ACL surgery.  

We found that cross-education training with the non-injured leg, as adjuvant to standard care, did not accelerate the ACL recovery of the operated leg.     

Cross-education in the early phase after ACL reconstruction did not improve quadriceps strength and self-reported knee function in the early and late-phase of ACL rehabilitation. The training load of the cross-education program was not high enough as cross-education training did not result in extra strength gains in the quadriceps muscles of the non-injured leg. Cross-education had no negative influence on ACL recovery and could supposedly still accelerate the ACL recovery when the training load of the cross-education protocol is increased.

 

Schermafbeelding 2019 08 21 om 16.31.47

Image by: authors

> From: Zult et al., Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 27 (2019) 478-490 . All rights reserved to European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy. Click here for the online summary.

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