LAS VEGAS — Blood flow restriction therapy may minimize the loss and enhance the recovery of muscle during ACL rehabilitation, according to results presented here.
“[Blood flow restriction] BFR also contributes to attenuated bone loss in the whole leg, as well as specific loading regions around the knee joint,” Bradley Lambert, PhD, said in his presentation at the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Day at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. “These findings coincide with favorable improvements in functional outcome measures.”
Lambert and colleagues randomly assigned 23 active young adults undergoing ACL reconstruction to 12 weeks of rehabilitation either with or without blood flow restriction therapy.
“Bone mineral density, site-specific bone mineral density and lean mass were measured using DEXA at preop, 6 weeks postop and 12 weeks postop,” Lambert said. “Functional assessments were done at 8 weeks postop and 12 weeks postop.”
Patients in the blood flow restriction group experienced lean mass preservation compared with the control group, according to Lambert.
“We also showed an interesting proximal benefit of blood flow restriction that is proximal to the cuff and the glute muscle, where only the control group was found to have a decrease in glute muscle lean mass at week 6 of rehab,” Lambert said.
He added patients in the blood flow restriction group also experienced bone preservation, with further decreases in bone mass at week 12 in the control group. The addition of blood flow restriction to standard ACL rehabilitation improved the preservation of site-specific bone mineral density at the distal femur, proximal tibia and proximal fibula, Lambert noted.
“Most of our functional measures showed similar results between week 8 and week 12 as we were only going to look at those for 4 weeks,” Lambert said. “However, we did see an improvement that was not observed in our control group in single-leg squat, as well as some of our Y-balance measures.” – by Casey Tingle
Lambert B, et al. Abstract 6. Presented at: Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Day at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 16, 2019; Las Vegas.
Disclosure: Lambert reports no relevant financial disclosures.