Forty patients were prospectively investigated to evaluate the effects of bandaging after reconstructive surgery of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
For the 6 weeks of the postoperative course, the operated knee was bandaged in 20 patients (group A) and braced in the other 20 patients (group B). The isokinetic torque for extension and flexion (Cybex) and the range of motion (ROM) were investigated after 6, 12, 24 and 52 weeks postoperatively.
At 24 weeks and 1 year postoperatively the stability of the knee joint (KT-1000) as well as the clinical outcome (‘Orthopädische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Knie’) were evaluated. No statistically significant differences between the two groups were found forthe extension and flexion strengths. Free ROM was achieved significantly earlier in group A than in group B. No statistically significant differences regarding the stability of the operated knee joint nor the early outcome were found between the two groups. This study demonstrated that the renunciation of using a brace had no adverse effect on the early outcome with respect to stability and function. On the contrary, bracing seems not to be mandatory after ACL reconstruction when the central third of the patellar tendon is used.