Functional performance post ACL reconstruction
Optimizing return to sport post ACL reconstruction continues to be a topic in need of further advancement. Despite advances in rehabilitation, the ability to return to pre-injury status remains a question for many and risk of re-injury remains high. The following study has found the use of return to play criteria at 6 months predictive of return to pre-injury level at both 12 and 24 months.
Systematic reviews of recent past have documented as little as 1/3 of athletes return to sport 1-year post ACL reconstruction. The variables that influence a knee that is ready for return to sport range widely from physical to psychosocial and modifiable to non-modifiable factors, thus the decision making process represents a complex practice that demands a multivariate objective assessment, eliminating outside influences to cloud judgment.
The authors of this study performed a prospective longitudinal analysis of 107 athletes post ACL reconstruction. All participants were included in a regimented post-surgical rehab program and then subjected to a return to play testing criteria, which included performance based and self-reported measures at 6 months. A pass/ fail system was used based on scoring of test indexes and self-report outcomes.
The authors found the return to previous level of function at 12 and 24 months was higher for those who had passed the return to play criteria than those who did not. Furthermore, the authors recommend the use of functional limb symmetry tests be used to guide clinical decisions regarding return to sport considerations.
> From: Nawasreh et al., Br J Sports Med (2017) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the online summary.