‘High-Level’ Football Players Return to Play After ACL Reconstruction


ACL Injury


According to a study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Say, high-level college football players frequently return to the field after ACL reconstruction.  The study focused on Division 1 NCAA football players.

Team orthopedists and athletic trainers from institutions throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pacific 12 Conference and Southeastern Conference, cooperated with doctors who studied data from 184 athletes who underwent ACL reconstruction from 2004 to 2010. Return to play as well as pertinent athletic and surgical variables that could alter an athlete’s  return to play also were analyzed.

Overall, the return-to-play rate was 82% for all athletes, a percentage that reached 95% for players who were starters prior to injury. They were followed by athletes who were moderately used in-game (88% return-to-play rate) while athletes who rarely played had a 73% return-to-play rate.

More details from Orthopedics Today:

Collegiate career experience also played a significant role in RTP (return to play), as sophomores had the highest RTP rate (94%), followed by juniors, freshman and seniors at 89%, 83% and 73%, respectively. Athletes who were on scholarship had a significantly higher RTP rate (88%) than non-scholarship athletes (69%).

“Our research shows that returning from a major knee injury and surgery is definitely possible. Furthermore, we have found that the more motivated and skilled players are more likely to achieve this goal,” Jimmy Hoshang Daruwalla, MD, stated in a press release. “Sports medicine specialists will be able to use this data to help counsel players and tailor treatments for these collegiate athletes.”

More information on ACL injuries and common treatment options are available here.

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