To investigate whether Kinesio tape (KT) application improves proprioception, balance, and functional performance in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture (ACLr).
This retrospective analysis included 48 male patients with surgically-untreated ACLr who attended the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, China between June 2017 and June 2018. KT was applied to induce a detoning effect on the quadriceps muscle and toning effect on the ischiocrural muscles. Proprioception, balance, and functional performance were assessed before and 1 and 7 days after KT application using the Lysholm scale, anteroposterior shift of the tibia (APST), active angle reproduction test (AART), modified star excursion balance test (mSEBT), and single-hop distance (SHD).
KT resulted in significant improvements in Lysholm scale at 1 day (83.00 [6.50] vs. 76.00 [5.25], P < .001) and APST (8.00 [2.00] vs. 10.00 [2.00] mm, P < .001), AART (3.00 [1.00] vs. 4.00 [1.75] degrees, P < .001), SEBT (96.08 [6.62] vs. 83.92 [7.31] %, P < .001) and SHD (120.96 [6.94] vs. 106.46 [9.03] %, P < .001) at 3 hours (median [interquartile range]). However, significant deficits remained when compared with the healthy side. Except for mSEBT posterolateral direction, those effects were maintained at 7 days.
KT has benefits in people with ACLr but cannot fully compensate for functional deficits. KT could be used to assist knee strengthening during rehabilitation.