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  • Mick Hughes

22 ACL Papers That Have Shaped My Clinical Practice

Image: Hewett et al (2005)

Over the last decade, there has been a plethora of research papers published on the ACL. As a result, I want to share with you some of the key papers that have been published during this time that have shaped my clinical practice.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of papers on ACL rehabilitation, but it definitely contains the papers that I consider to be game-changers that I encourage all health professionals to read who have an interest in ACL injury and ACL rehabilitation.

Links with full text access:

1) van Melick et al (2016) - Evidence-based Clinical Practice Update: Practice Guidelines for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rehabilitation Based on a Systematic Review and Multidisciplinary Consensus

2) Janssen et al (2018) - ACL reconstruction with hamstring tendon autograft and accelerated brace-free rehabilitation: a systematic review of clinical outcomes

3) Filbay & Grindem (2019) – Evidence-based recommendations for the management of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture

4) Ardern et al (2018) – 2018 International Olympic Committee Consensus Statement on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Pediatric Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

5) Eitzen et al (2010) - A Progressive 5-Week Exercise Therapy Program Leads to Significant Improvement in Knee Function Early After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury


Image: Quatman & Hewett (2009)

7) Frobell et al (2013) - Treatment for acute anterior cruciate ligament tear: five year outcome of randomised trial

8) Failla et al (2016) - Does Extended Preoperative Rehabilitation Influence Outcomes 2 Years After ACL Reconstruction? A Comparative Effectiveness Study Between the MOON and Delaware-Oslo ACL Cohorts

9) Thoma et al (2019) - Coper classification early after ACL rupture changes with progressive neuromuscular and strength training and is associated with two-year success: The Delaware-Oslo ACL Cohort study

10) Wellsandt et al (2017) - Limb Symmetry Indexes Can Overestimate Knee Function After ACL Injury.

11) Petushek et al (2018) - Evidence-Based Best-Practice Guidelines for Preventing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Young Female Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

12) Webster & Hewett (2018) - Meta-analysis of Meta-Analyses of Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Injury Reduction Training Programs

13) Davies et al (2020) - Is It Time We Better Understood the Tests We are Using for Return to Sport Decision Making Following ACL Reconstruction? A Critical Review of the Hop Tests

14) Hurd et al (2008) - A 10-year Prospective Trial of a Patient Management Algorithm and Screening Examination for Highly Active Individuals With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Part 1, Outcomes

15) Kyritsis (2016) - Likelihood of ACL graft rupture: not meeting six clinical discharge criteria before return to sport is associated with a four times greater risk of rupture

16) Gokeler et al (2017) - A Critical Analysis of Limb Symmetry Indices of Hop Tests in Athletes After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Case Control Study

17) Schmitt et al (2012) - The Impact of Quadriceps Femoris Strength Asymmetry on Functional Performance at Return to Sport Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

18) Culvenor et al (2016)- Early Patellofemoral Osteoarthritis Features One Year After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Symptoms and Quality of Life at Three Years

19) Ihara & Kawano (2017) - Influence of Age on Healing Capacity of Acute Tears of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessment

Links, but with no full text access.

20) Welling et al (2019) - Progressive Strength Training Restores Quadriceps and Hamstring Muscle Strength Within 7 Months After ACL Reconstruction in Amateur Male Soccer Players

21) Escamilla et al (2012) - Anterior Cruciate Ligament Strain and Tensile Forces for Weight-Bearing and Non-Weight-Bearing Exercises: A Guide to Exercise Selection

22) Ebert et al (2018) - Strength and Functional Symmetry Is Associated With Post-Operative Rehabilitation in Patients Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

I hope you get something out of these papers as much as what I have!

If you are still thirsty for more ACL knowledge, consider signing up to my online ACL Masterclasses at!

Click on the links below to see what each Masterclass contains. Don't forget, health professionals can register these courses as continuing professional development, and they are tax deductible:

- ACLR Masterclass

- Non-operative ACL Masterclass

Also don't forget the Melbourne ACL Rehabilitation Guide is now FREE and online!

Click on the link here to start using it with your patients today!

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