We know that patients are more likely to develop patellofemoral or anterior knee cartilage disease after ACL surgery. Here is a study showing that even in patients who appear to be strong after recovering from ACL surgery, they still have very deficient quadriceps strength. It found differences in patellofemoral joint contact forces after ACL reconstruction.
Takeaways from study of patellofemoral joint contact forces after ACL reconstruction:
- Patients with return to sport clearance exhibited low patellofemoral joint contact force
- Contralateral and control groups exhibited higher patellofemoral joint contact forces
“Quadriceps force, as measured in terms of body weight, at the time of peak patellofemoral joint contact force was 10.9 in the ACL reconstruction group, 15.1 in the contralateral group and 13.7 in the control group.”
I recommend that all my patients use blood flow restriction at physical therapy to improve their strength after knee surgery. We need more research to learn how to prevent arthritis in these patients and optimize strength and function.
Read more about this study on in this Healio article about the study that found differences in patellofemoral joint contact forces after ACL reconstruction.