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Advances in Orthopedics
Volume 2016, Article ID 1609067, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Healing of the Acutely Injured Anterior Cruciate Ligament: Functional Treatment with the ACL-Jack, a Dynamic Posterior Drawer Brace

1Orthopädie Rosenberg, Rosenbergstrasse 150, St. Gallen, Switzerland
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, HFR Hôpital Cantonal, Fribourg, Switzerland
3Private Clinic Hansa Graz, Körblergasse 42, 8010 Graz, Austria
4Schulthess Klinik, Lengghalde 2, Zürich, Switzerland
5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Health and Performance Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
6En Chambaz, Môtier, Switzerland

Received 7 September 2016; Accepted 11 October 2016

Academic Editor: Elizaveta Kon

Copyright © 2016 Matthias Jacobi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The injured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has a limited healing capacity leading to persisting instability. Hypothesis/Purpose. To study if the application of a brace, producing a dynamic posterior drawer force, after acute ACL injury reduces initial instability. Study Design. Cohort study. Methods. Patients treated with the ACL-Jack brace were compared to controls treated with primary ACL reconstruction und controls treated nonsurgically with functional rehabilitation. Measurements included anterior laxity (Rolimeter), clinical scores (Lysholm, Tegner, and IKDC), and MRI evaluation. Patients were followed up to 24 months. Results. Patients treated with the ACL-Jack brace showed a significant improvement of anterior knee laxity comparable to patients treated with ACL reconstruction, whereas laxity persisted after nonsurgical functional rehabilitation. The failure risk (secondary reconstruction necessary) of the ACL-Jack group was however 21% (18 of 86) within 24 months. Clinical scores were similar in all treatment groups. Conclusion. Treatment of acute ACL tears with the ACL-Jack brace leads to improved anterior knee laxity compared to nonsurgical treatment with functional rehabilitation.