Objective: To evaluate whether an 8-week whole-body vibration training program may improve recovery of knee flexion/extension muscular strength in athletes after arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Single outpatient rehabilitation center.
Participants: Thirty-eight female volleyball/basketball players (aged between 20 and 30), randomized into 2 treatment groups.
Interventions: During a standardized six-month rehabilitation program, from week 13 to week 20 after surgery, the whole-body vibration group (n = 19) and the control group (n = 19) performed additional static knee flexor/extensor exercises on a vibration platform. For the whole-body vibration group, the vibration platform was set to 2.5 mm of amplitude and 26 Hz of frequency. The control group followed the same whole-body vibration board training with no vibrations.
Main Outcome Measures: All patients were evaluated using an isokinetic strength test with a Biodex dynamometer at the beginning and at the end of the additional treatment protocol. The parameters tested were the peak torque and the maximum power of knee flexor and extensor muscles performing strength and endurance tests.
Results: No vibration-related side effects were observed. Improvements were noticed in both groups, but increase in knee muscle isokinetic strength values was statistically significant in the whole-body vibration group when compared with the control group (differences in extension: peak torque 11.316/10.263 N[middle dot]m and maximum power 13.684/11.211 W; flexion: peak torque 9.632/11.105 N[middle dot]m and maximum power 10.158/9.474 W; P < 0.001).
Conclusions: When combined with a standardized rehabilitation program, whole-body vibration may increase muscular strength and be an effective additional treatment option in the rehabilitation of athletes after ACL arthroscopic reconstruction.
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