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.
Biomed Research International, 2014, Vol 2014, p. 1-11