Effects of Kinesio taping of the knee on proprioception, balance, and functional performance in patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture: A retrospective case series.

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.KT exerts various effects according to the amount of extension and taping method used, and these effects include: (1) reducing edema, inhibiting pain, and improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage[20,21]; (2) stimulating proprioceptors in the skin, muscle tissue, and joint capsule and thereby improving proprioception and balance[22,23]; and (3) facilitating muscles, reducing muscle fatigue and enhancing movement performance.[24] Although the application of KT has been demonstrated to have positive effects on pain management,[25] postural correction,[26] and lymph flow,[27] its influence on the proprioception and balance of an injured knee is still controversial.