Reducing the Risk of a Reinjury Following ACL Reconstruction: What Factors Should Be Used to Allow Unrestricted Return to Sports Activities?

  • Sue D. Barber-WestinEmail author
  • Frank R. Noyes


Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction is commonly performed in athletes, with the goal of returning to sports activities. Unfortunately, this operation may fail, and the rates of either reinjuring an ACL-reconstructed knee or sustaining an ACL rupture to the contralateral knee range from 3 to 49 %. A systematic review conducted on 264 studies demonstrated that 105 (40 %) failed to provide any criteria for return to sports following ACL reconstruction. Only 35 studies (13 %) noted objective criteria required for return to athletics. Recommendations are provided for measuring muscle strength, lower limb symmetry and neuromuscular control, and ligament function in patients who wish to return to sports activities. Future studies will determine if demonstration of normal lower limb function before sports are resumed is effective in reducing reinjury rates.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Sport Activity Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Neuromuscular Control 
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Supplementary material

Video 5

What factors should be used to allow unrestricted return to sports activities? (WMV 65050 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cincinnati Sports Medicine Research and Education FoundationCincinnatiUSA

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