BFR Therapy

HSS Awarded Grant for Trial of Blood Flow Restriction Therapy After Achilles Tendon Repair

The Delfi Personalized Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is used for these exercises. At the onset of the BFR therapy sessions, which occur 2-3 times per week, the tourniquet cuff is placed around the patient’s thigh. The electronic tourniquet system is used to determine each patient’s individualized limb occlusion pressure (LOP). Tourniquet pressure is maintained at 60% - 80% of this value for the duration of the set of strengthening exercises. Physical therapists will aim to have patients complete exercises at 80% of LOP, but final pressure for the duration of the exercises is the maximum pressure tolerated by the patient between 60% and 80% LOP. 4 sets of each exercise are completed for reps of 30, 15, 15, and 15 during each set. 30 second breaks are taken between each set. By maintaining a cadence of "2 seconds up, 2 seconds down" when performing reps, each exercise should take approximately 7 minutes, during which time the tourniquet remains inflated. After 7 minutes, the tourniquet will deflate for a 1-minute break and the patient will take a break between exercises.

Number of sets, reps, and the amount of rest being implemented in our protocol has been established by previous BFR physical therapy protocols and is the recommended therapy protocol by the developers of the Delfi PTS for BFR. Patients complete as much of the BFR protocol as possible in each phase, at the discretion of a physical therapist. Additional aspects of physical therapy outside of these strengthening exercises are also determined by the physical therapist.


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