Tuesday, May 1, 2012

WiiFit as effective as traditional ACL rehab (study)

Using the #exergame with Wii Fit was as effective in rehabilitating ACL patients in a randomized control study (RCT) over 12 weeks of therapy. It goes to show that exergaming equipment can be used effectively if well monitored to improve one's health and rehabilitation - "It's In The Way That You Use It"

Baltaci, G., Harput, G., Haksever, B., Ulusoy, B., & Ozer, H. (2012). Comparison between Nintendo Wii Fit and conventional rehabilitation on functional performance outcomes after hamstring anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy DOI: 10.1007/s00167-012-2034-2

Reading the abstract got me thinking of another exergame rehab image I previously posted,
which was using Kinect for rehab. Although the application exists in a European therapy group, I still haven't seen it there are tons of groups in the exergaming rehab space including the MXR at USC and some of the following projects:

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 



The aim of this prospective, randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical trial was to compare the outcomes, including knee strength, balance, coordination, proprioception and response time, of Nintendo Wii Fit with those of conventional rehabilitation on the subjects with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.


Thirty volunteer subjects were enrolled in either Wii Fit (n = 15; mean age, 29 ± 7 years) or conventional rehabilitation (n = 15; mean age, 29 ± 6 years) programmes from the first week up to 12th weeks of the operation. Endoscopic reconstruction of a completely ruptured ACL was performed by using graft harvested from hamstrings. Each subject underwent an individual therapeutic programme. Functional examinations included the measurements of the balance using modified star excursion balance test, coordination, proprioception and response time using functional squat system and strength of flexor and extensor muscles of the involved and uninvolved leg using an isokinetic machine.


There was no significant difference between Wii Fit and conventional group in terms of isokinetic knee strength at 12th week, and dynamic balance, and functional squat tests including coordination, proprioception and response time at first, 8th and 12th weeks of the rehabilitation.


Two different 12-week-physiotherapy programmes following ACL reconstruction have the same affect on muscle strength, dynamic balance and functional performance values in both groups. We considered that the practice of Wii Fit activities like conventional rehabilitation could also address physical therapy goals, which included improving visual-perceptual processing, coordination, proprioception and functional mobility.


Randomized, controlled trials with adequate statistical power, Level I.

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