Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Where We Are and Where We Are Going

Bryan G. Vopat, MD; Lisa M. Vopat, MD; Megan M. Bechtold, DPT; Kevin A. Hodge, MD


J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020;28(12):e493-e500. 

In This Article

Authors' Preferred Method

At our institution, we are beginning to use BFRT after lower extremity surgery, including ACL reconstruction, meniscus repair, multiligament reconstruction, Achilles repair, and lateral ankle reconstruction procedures. BFRT intervention in postoperative patients is protocol driven and based on the patient's weight-bearing status, sensitive or repaired soft tissues, and any other relevant precautions in their specific case. An individualized cuff system is used at 80% of AOP on both the involved and uninvolved extremities. For patients who are unable to perform a sufficient isometric contraction of a target muscle, BFRT begins with either rest, isometric contractions, or neuromuscular electrical stimulation while pressure is applied for three sets of 5-minute bouts. These sessions are repeated three to five times per week. For patients who have sufficient isometric contraction of the target tissue, the most appropriate method focuses on low-load, kinetic exercise programs at a repetition count of 30-15-15-15 per set. These sessions are performed twice per week in addition to their regular physical therapy routine.