OBJECTIVE: Persistent weakness is a common problem after anterior cruciate ligament- (ACL-) reconstruction. This study investigated the effects of high-intensity (HRT) versus low-intensity (LRT) resistance training on leg extensor power and recovery of knee function after ACL-reconstruction. METHODS: 31 males and 19 females were randomized to HRT (n = 24) or LRT (n = 26) from week 8-20 after ACL-reconstruction. Leg extensor power, joint laxity, and self-reported knee function were measured before and 7, 14, and 20 weeks after surgery. Hop tests were assessed before and after 20 weeks. RESULTS: Power in the injured leg was 90% (95% CI 86-94%) of the noninjured leg, decreasing to 64% (95% CI 60-69%) 7 weeks after surgery. During the resistance training phase there was a significant group by time interaction for power (P = 0.020). Power was regained more with HRT compared to LRT at week 14 (84% versus 73% of noninjured leg, resp.; P = 0.027) and at week 20 (98% versus 83% of noninjured leg, resp.; P = 0.006) without adverse effects on joint laxity. No other between-group differences were found. CONCLUSION: High-intensity resistance training during rehabilitation after ACL-reconstruction can improve muscle power without adverse effects on joint laxity.
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2014, Vol 2014, p. 1-11