An ACLR (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction) is not only one of the most common sports injuries for level 1 sports (football, soccer, basketball, etc), but is also one of the longest recoveries from a surgical standpoint due a multitude of factors.
That attracts a TON of attention and research over the past few decades. We know more and more about the ACL and how it functions, but injuries continue to go up, to nearly 200,000 injuries per year!
What is the ACL?
The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of connective tissue that connects the shin bone (tibia) to the thigh bone (femur) and prevents forward movement / shifting and rotational forces of the tibia against the femur. This is critical in overall stability of the knee joint especially when it comes to athletic movements (sprinting, jumping, cutting, pivoting, etc).
Types of ACL injuries:
Other Risk Factors
Risk factors for ACL injuries include external factors (shoe choice and friction of playing surface, weather) and internal factors (bony morphology, hormonal, neuromuscular risk factors ).
Women are 3x more likely to tear their ACL … the reasons are unclear but there are some theories and some factors backed by some research.
Grades of Injury: An ACL injury is classified as a grade I, II, or III sprain
ACL Reconstruction Rehab is a MARATHON. Especially for an athlete, the return to sport timelines are along the lines of 8-12 months depending on the sport and athlete presentation. Rehab consists of attaining prior range of motion, strength, power, agility and working on specific return to sport requirements and skills so that the athlete feels confident with athletic movement and has the objective data to back it up.
Although returning back to sport is always the goal, research shows that just 65% of athletes return to their prior level of function and play! This is an extremely low lumber in our opinion and we feel that number should be much higher.
This is where the importance of having a therapist that specializes in ACL reconstruction surgical rehab is very helpful due to the specialty of services and specific progressions necessary for a successful return to sport.