Considerations for Returning to Sport after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are common, and it is estimated that more than 10,000 Australians undergo ACL reconstruction (ACLR) every year, at a conservative cost of more than $75 million per annum in hospital costs alone. Furthermore, published research has reported that in Australia, the incidence of ACLR is the highest in the world and increasing annually. In addition to the high incidence of primary ACLR, it is estimated that 10-30% of patients will re-tear upon their eventual return to sport (RTS). While patients are generally informed they can RTS between 6-12 months after surgery, a number of pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative variables may influence re-injury and RTS rates. Post-operatively and, in addition to time since surgery, the therapist, in collaboration with the patient, orthopaedic and sporting team if relevant, must consider an array of variables as the patient transitions closer toward the RTS timeframe. This may include patient-perceived capacity and psychological readiness, physical capacity which may we assessed in a number of different ways, biomechanical movement patterns, appropriate and successful transition through sport-specific training activities, and of course ensuring the patient has the resources required with respect to ongoing conditioning to supplement their RTS.
This is a recording of an ESSA webinar presented on 23 February 2022.
This online activity will provide therapists with an up-to-date overview and summation of the factors that must be considered and evaluated prior to making the decision of whether an ACLR patient is ready to return to higher demand activity and sport.
Presented by Dr Jay Ebert BSc (ExRehab), PhD, AEP, FESSA
Dr Jay Ebert BSc (ExRehab), PhD, AEP, FESSA is a Director and practicing Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) at the HFRC Rehabilitation Clinic in Perth, Western Australia. He completed his PhD in cartilage repair, biomechanics and exercise rehabilitation, and has extensive experience working with patients of all musculoskeletal conditions, with a particular focus on lower limb injury and post-operative rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery. He is also a Lecturer in musculoskeletal rehabilitation at the School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), at the University of Western Australia (UWA), as well as the Director of Research at the Perth Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Institute, and a Director of the Orthopaedic Research Foundation of Western Australia. Through his clinical and research work at UWA, he has been involved in the project development and coordination of several large orthopaedic research programs.
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