According to a literature review published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, wearing a knee brace following ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery does not assist with aiding a speedy recovery. The best post-operative care involves strength building exercises, range-of-motion exercises and help with working on functionality. In other words, individualised physiotherapy programs that are started shortly after surgery, can bring about good outcomes whereas use of knee braces did not seem to improve outcome.
Injuries to the ACL often require reconstructive surgery, with post-surgical rehabilitative therapy. The other key findings from the survey included the following observations:
- Physical therapy starts ideally within a few days following surgery.
- Therapies focusing on proprioception (awareness of movement of one's body) may have benefits; however, the extent of their efficacy requires further research.
- Balance therapies show promise.
- Accelerated rehabilitation also does not appear to be harmful, but should be studied further.
- No vitamins or other supplements have been proven to have any effect on ACL healing.
Professor Rick W. Wright, MD, co-chief of the sports medicine department at the Washington University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, says: "It can be difficult at first, but it's worth it in terms of returning to sports and other activities."