• Mick Hughes

Managing Expectations Following ACL Injury


It's important that we are having honest discussions with our ACLR patients about what the chances are of them returning to pre-injury level of sport, 2nd ACL injury risk and risk of OA development over time following ACLR.


Currently we know:

  • 40-60% of non-professional athletes will return to pre-injury sport within 2 years

  • 2nd ACL injuries in under 20 year olds is approx 30% within 2 years of return to sport

  • Up to 50% of patients will develop symptoms and radiographic OA changes at least 10 years post ACLR.

These conversations can be hard to have, but its important that we have them so we are being realistic and not allowing our patients to develop a false sense of security that everything will be perfect in the future.


The way I end these discussions with my patients is, "now that you know some of the stats, try and prove me wrong".


If you're looking to read a little bit more about an evidence based way to manage the ACL injured patient, Fibay & Grindem (2019) is an important read and you can find the full text link here


If you're interested in learning more about ACL rehab, consider signing up to Learn.Physio online ACL Masterclasses here

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