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The Hard Truth About ACL Reconstruction and return to sport

Treating Post operative ACL reconstructions is something that we are very passionate about. And educating our patients and athletes about this with evidence based information is another. Returning to sport of an ACL reconstruction is not something to be taken lightly.

The minimum time rehabilitating before returning to sport should be 9 months. Returning to sport before 9 months makes you 7 times more likely to sustain another injury (Beischer et al., 2021). And for every month after 8 months that you take before returning to sports, the risk of a second ACL injury reduces by 30% (Bodkin et al., 2021).

the athlete has to meet all criteria before they are allowed to return to sport. just having no pain, full range of movement of the knee and adequate strength, doesn't mean that you are ready to return to sport. Ligamentization of the graft starts at 12 weeks and last to about 9-10 months, but it can take up to 2 years. so it is so important that the supporting structures of the knee and neuromuscular control of the complex can handle the stresses of sport.

And finally!!! TESTING!!! Testing ensures that the athlete and their knee can endure the stresses of sport. Achieving all criteria in testing needed to return to sport, physically and mentally is needed to successfully return to sport. Not just a "you look ready" to return to sport, but actual objective measures.

To all our ACL reconstruction patients and athletes.... Trust the process and put in the work.

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