One-quarter to one-third of young, active patients who undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction experience a second ACL injury after they return to sport (RTS). New research indicates that young athletes who feel confident about their knee health at the time of medical clearance for sports participation after ACL surgery have a higher likelihood of meeting all RTS criteria related to physical function but also have a higher likelihood of experiencing a second ACL injury within 2 years after RTS.
The study, which included 159 participants with an average age of 17 years, is published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.
“These data suggest that as health care providers, we may need to re-evaluate the tools we currently use to determine readiness to return to sport after ACL reconstruction in young athletes. In addition, we need to better evaluate the role of confidence in patients as they transition back to sports,” said lead author Mark Paterno, PT, Ph.D., SCS, ATC, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.