Protein in Feeding Strategies to Accelerate Muscle Recovery From ACL Reconstruction


Musculoskeletal injury, particularly injuries requiring surgical repair, induce significant muscle atrophy, resulting in diminished physical function. The protein turnover-associated (diminished protein synthesis, elevated protein breakdown, negative net muscle protein balance) etiology of injury and surgical-induced atrophy are, in part, similar to those observed with muscle wasting induced by hyper-catabolic and inflammatory conditions and prolonged periods of skeletal muscle disuse (e.g., cachexia and joint immobilization). Combining dietary strategies to optimize the anabolic properties of beef as a high quality protein source that provides essential amino acids prior to surgery and throughout post-surgery rehabilitation may attenuate muscle atrophy and accelerate the restoration of muscle function. This project will examine the efficacy of habitual consumption of a beef-based higher protein meal pattern and post-physical rehabilitation beef protein supplementation throughout post-surgical rehabilitation intervention on skeletal muscle function in response to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair in healthy, physically active adults. Stable isotope methodologies, proteomic analysis of muscle protein synthesis, and molecular assessments of skeletal muscle atrophy and remodeling will be assessed to evaluate the effects of increased protein intake, including consumption of a high quality beef-based protein supplement following patient physical therapy sessions on: 1. Skeletal muscle protein fractional synthetic rates during and in recovery from surgery; 2. Inflammatory, proteolytic, and anabolic intramuscular signaling during surgery and their association with skeletal muscle protein synthesis and muscle function; 3. Muscle size and functional recovery; 4. Duration to return to routine exercise, sport, or physical activity.

Study Start Date

February, 01 2018

Estimated Completion Date

May 2019


  • Other: Diet Intervention_AP-CPT
  • Other: Diet Intervention_PP-PPT

Study ID

University of Connecticut -- HHC-E-HHC-2016-0126



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase


Enrollment Quota



University of Connecticut

Inclusion Criteria

  • 18 to 35 years of age
  • identified as appropriate for study recruitment by their respective orthopedic surgeon
  • undergoing their first anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair
  • undergo ACL reconstruction under general anesthesia
  • body mass indexes (BMIs) within normal to overweight ranges

Exclusion Criteria

  • reporting metabolic or cardiovascular abnormalities, food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders (i.e. lactose intolerance)
  • use of nutritional/herbal/sports supplements including anabolic steroids, and tobacco products will be excluded from the study
  • BMIs above 29.9




18 Years to 35 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Study Locations and Contact Information (1)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Orthopedic Associates of Hartford - Hartford, Connecticut 92.3 miles Christopher J Lena MD 860-549-8249 provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.