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Electrical Stimulation Use Post-op ACL Repair

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS

November 10, 2014

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Question

Is electrical stimulation beneficial to facilitate quadriceps contraction early on post-op?

Answer

Yes, it definitely is. There been a number of studies that have looked at the benefits of stim, TENS, as far as looking at TENS for pain control, and then NMES for helping to fire the quads.  NMES is something that we use fairly regularly in our practice as far as using it to try to facilitate the quads to work.  I think the sooner you get quads firing and get rid of the lag, the sooner you can get rid of bracing, crutches, and the quicker the people will progress.  Very often we will get home NMES units for patients to use at home and they can typically use a trigger where they are doing their quad sets or other exercises with the facilitation of the unit.  I think having them do it on the opposite side can be helpful as well.


david nolan

David Nolan, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, CSCS

Dr. Nolan is an Associate Clinical Professor at Northeastern University in the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as a Graduate Lecturer in the College of Professional Studies in the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Northeastern University.  David is also a Clinical Specialist at the Mass General Sports Physical Therapy Service and the Director of the MGH / Northeastern University Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program. 

Dr. Nolan is a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Sports Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.  He is a past recipient of the “Excellence in Clinical Teaching” award from the New England Consortium of Academic Coordinators of Clinical Education as well as the award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Practice by the Massachusetts Chapter of the APTA.  Dr. Nolan was also presented with the 2019 Lynn Wallace Clinical Educator award from the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy. 


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