Hamstring graft has substantial differences with BPTB graft regarding initial mechanical strength, healing sequence, and vascularization, which may imply that a different approach during rehabilitation period is required. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of knee bracing on tibial rotation in ACL-reconstructed patients with a hamstring autograft during high loading activities. The hypothesis was that there would be a decrease in tibial rotation in the ACL-reconstructed braced knee as compared to the unbraced knee.
Twenty male patients having undergone unilateral ACL reconstruction with a semitendinosus/gracilis autograft were assessed. Kinematic data were collected with an eight-camera optoelectronic system during two stressful tasks: (1) descending from a stair and subsequent pivoting; and (2) landing from a platform and subsequent pivoting. In each patient, three different experimental conditions were evaluated: (A) wearing a prophylactic brace (braced condition); (B) wearing a patellofemoral brace (sleeved condition); (C) without brace (unbraced condition). The intact knee without brace served as a control.
Tibial rotation was significantly lower in the intact knee compared to all three conditions of the ACL-reconstructed knee (P≤0.01 for both tasks). Presence of a brace or sleeve resulted in lower tibial rotation than in the unbraced condition (p=0.003 for descending/pivot and P=0.0004 for landing/pivot). The braced condition resulted in lower rotation than the sleeved condition for descending/pivoting (P=0.031) while no differences were found for landing/pivoting (P=0.230).
Knee bracing limited the excessive tibial rotation during pivoting under high loading activities in ACL-reconstructed knees with a hamstring graft. This partial restoration of normal kinematics may have a potential beneficial effect in patients recovering from ACL reconstruction with a hamstring autograft.
Level of evidence
Level III, case-control therapeutic study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation, Semitendinosus/gracilis, Knee kinematics patellofemoral brace, Prophylactic brace