Blood Flow Restriction Therapy: An Evidence-Based Approach to Postoperative Rehabilitation

Richard Watson, Breanna Sullivan, Austin Stone, Cale Jacobs, Terry Malone, Nicholas Heebner, Brian Noehren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Blood flow restriction therapy (BFRT) involves the application of a pneumatic tourniquet cuff to the proximal portion of the arm or leg. This restricts arterial blood flow while occluding venous return, which creates a hypoxic environment that induces many physiologic adaptations.BFRT is especially useful in postoperative rehabilitation because it produces muscular hypertrophy and strength gains without the need for heavy-load exercises that are contraindicated after surgery.Low-load resistance training with BFRT may be preferable to low-load or high-load training alone because it leads to comparable increases in strength and hypertrophy, without inducing muscular edema or increasing pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22.00062
JournalJBJS Reviews
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 3 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Inc.. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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