Dr. Scott Telfer is a Research Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and one of two recipients of the inaugural CLEAR Center Pilot & Feasibility Awards.
Dr. Telfer’s project, Blood Flow Restriction for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Rehabilitation, involves a cross-sectional study designed to test the acceptability of blood flow restriction training for those undergoing rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction surgery. It will also investigate the biomechanical effects of the blood flow restriction training rehabilitation technique.
Rehabilitation after surgical reconstruction of the ACL aims to re-establish the function of the knee. Effectively building muscle strength requires exercises with high resistance loads, but the joint stress and risk of further injury make these types of activities inappropriate and unsafe for those rehabilitating after ACL reconstruction surgery. Personalized blood flow restriction training is a technique where the blood flow to the muscles being exercised is controlled by a pressure cuff to a predefined level, and has been shown to increase strength while exercising with significantly lower loads. Dr. Telfer’s CLEAR Pilot & Feasibility project will compare 2 groups of 20 participants each: one group of individuals will undergo rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction, and the second group will be an age-, weight-, and sex-matched control group. Both groups will complete personalized blood flow restriction training and have their movements and muscle activation monitored. Participants will also be asked to complete post-exercise surveys rating the difficulty and discomfort associated with each exercise they performed.
“The CLEAR Center funding is part of a larger program of musculoskeletal research that my team and I are developing,” Dr. Telfer notes. “I’m grateful to receive the Pilot & Feasibility funding so that we can complete the work needed to inform the design of a clinical trial of personalized blood flow restriction training after ACL reconstruction.”
Dr. Telfer’s project has the following specific aims:
- Specific Aim 1: To determine the acceptability of personalized blood flow restriction training during free standing exercises for individuals undergoing rehabilitation for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
- Specific Aim 2: To determine if personalized blood flow restriction training affects stability and control while performing free standing exercises