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Blood Flow Restriction

What Is Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation?

Bluegrass Orthopaedics uses a BFR system that is Food and Drug Administration-approved - Delphi Personalized Tourniquet System. The BGO rehabilitation team has been trained by Owens Recovery Science, the single source for PTs, OTs, Athletic Trainers & other medical professionals seeking certification in Blood Flow Restriction Training and the equipment needed to perform it.

BFR is the application of a specialized tourniquet system to a proximal arm or leg, which is inflated, to a personalized and specific pressure to reduce blood flow to an exercising extremity. The application is brief and intermittent, typically about 6-8 minutes per exercise but can last up to 30 minutes based on the specific protocol. Typically, to increase strength and hypertrophy a person would need to lift a significant amount of weight (60% of a 1 Repetition maximum or greater). With personalized BFR, you can create significant strength and hypertrophy gains with loads as low as 20% 1RM. "We are constantly trying to progress our clinical practices, utilizing the latest research to benefit our patients," says Director of Physical Therapy, Robert Pruden.

Who Benefits from Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation?

According to Director of Sports Medicine, Andrew Carlson, BFR can safely be used to rehabilitate patients with most types of orthopedic and muscular injuries.

"The chance of forming a blood clot during BFR is no greater than a blood clot forming as a result of traditional therapy methods," he says. "We probably wouldn't recommend it for a patient who might not be able to tolerate the occlusion very well, however the benefit we've seen from utilizing this rehabilitation technique has been fantastic, and hope to use it to help athletes of all ages."

The BGO rehabilitation team uses BFR in patients recovering from a variety of orthopedic injuries, including:

  • Achilles Tendon Repairs
  • Upper body and lower body muscle and tendon strains
  • Post-operative knee injuries
  • Patellofemoral Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Tennis Elbow

How Does Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation Work?

The exact mechanism behind the positive results seen with personalized BFR is still being extensively researched. Theories range from a significant build up of metabolites by anaerobic metabolism, a systemic anabolic response and cellular swelling. It is most likely a combination of multiple factors. It does appear that muscle protein synthesis plays a primary role as this has been consistently demonstrated in the literature.

"BGO follows specific parameters set forth by Owens Recovery Science, keeping in mind that each patient will be treated uniquely and specifically to their needs," Robert Pruden states "This ensures the patient is rehabilitated safely and, ultimately, ensure faster recovery times."

Where to Find Blood Flow Restriction Therapy?

BGO currently offers BFR at two of it's physical therapy locations:

  • BGO - Georgetown (502) 603-5026
  • BGO - Sports Medicine & Physical Performance Center (859) 422-4555
  • BGO - Brannon Crossing Physical Therapy (859) 422-4565

For more information about blood flow restriction rehabilitation at Bluegrass Orthopaedics, call 1-859-263-5140.

BGO Blood Flow Restriction Program

BGO's physical therapy assistant Keith Dwyer discusses Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) and how our physical therapy department incorporates this therapy technique with our patients.

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