Clinical Practice Guideline on rehabilitation ACLR


Clinical Practice Guideline on rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction.

This guideline was developed to inform clinical practice on rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) and was performed in accordance with the Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch & Evaluation II (AGREE II) instrument and used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.

A Guideline Development Group systematically searched and reviewed evidence using randomised clinical trials and systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions and guide clinicians and patients on the content of the optimal rehabilitation protocol after ACLR.

aspeter practice guideline

This Clinical Practice Guideline document describes the evidence of effectiveness for the components of rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). This information can then be used to inform ACLR rehabilitation protocols.


aspeter aclr image
aspetar guideline

The guideline targets patients during rehabilitation after ACLR and investigates the effectiveness of the available interventions to the physiotherapist, alone or in combination (eg, exercise, modalities, objective progression criteria).

Exercise interventions should be considered the mainstay of ACLR rehabilitation.

However, there is little evidence on the dose–response relationship between volume and/or intensity of exercise and outcomes.

Physical therapy modalities can be helpful as an adjunct in the early phase of rehabilitation when pain, swelling and limitations in range of motion are present.

Adding modalities in the early phase may allow earlier pain-free commencement of exercise rehabilitation.

Return to running and return to training/activity are key milestones for rehabilitation after ACLR. However, there is no evidence on which progression or discharge criteria should be used.

While there is a very low level of certainty for most components of rehabilitation, most of the recommendations provided in this guideline were agreed to by expert clinicians.

This guideline also highlights several new elements of ACLR management not reported previously.