Elite Athletes: ACL Reconstruction Return to Sport
Athletes’ who sustain ACL ruptures commonly get a reconstruction to facilitate return to sport.
However, some research suggests only 60% of non-elite athletes returned to their pre-injury level of sport after ACL reconstruction.
Elite athletes may have a greater chance of returning to sport following ACL reconstruction compared with non-elite athletes.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was completed to determine the rate of return to the pre-injury level of sport following ACL reconstruction among elite athletes.
Secondary aims included:
Assessing how long to return to sport.
Rate of ACL graft re-rupture.
24 studies, totaling 1272 elite athletes, met inclusion criteria and were included. .
83% of elite-athletes returned to their previous sport following ACL reconstruction.
5.2% of the ACL grafts re-ruptured.
6 to 13 months was the average time taken to return to sport.
This is less time than previously been reported among non-elite athletes. .
Although athletic performance often deteriorated compared with pre-injury levels, generally it remained comparable with elite athletes who had not sustained an ACL injury.
These results may be used by athletes and their treating clinicians to guide realistic expectations.
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Lai CCH, Ardern CL, Feller JA, et al. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:128–138.