How to ensure Success in Returning to Sport following an ACL Injury

How to ensure Success in Returning to Sport following an ACL Injury

By Jackson McKellar

“With the mounting evidence surrounding thorough performance testing for return to play clearance following ACL reconstruction, it could be deemed negligible if it’s not being completed even for athletes in the community!”

The rehabilitation journey following an ACL injury can be tricky to navigate for not only athletes but their treating clinicians as well. An emotion filled 12+ months can often lead to drop out, poor follow up and the mindset that ‘close enough is good enough.’ But with athletes who have sustained an ACL tear being more than 2x likely to suffer a recurrence, the mindset of close enough is good enough is certainly not good enough!

What we often find when athlete’s attend our clinic for an opinion on their ACL rehabilitation is that they haven’t been tested and given feedback regularly enough. In most cases this has resulted in poor compliance, poor capacity and a high risk of re-injury if they were to return to sport.

“The common misconception is testing is expensive and time consuming.”

Fortunately reading this today you will soon see that it isn’t, and you can get a real return on investment in ensuring you’re ticking every box to avoid a dreaded second ACL injury.

At Stride we have a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that we assess at different time points with all our Athletes. Typically we are looking at 6 weeks post surgery, prior to our athletes returning to running, as well as before we let them return to high speed running and full training. These tests are consistent and not only allow us to check for limb asymmetries but also compare our Athletes results with uninjured athletes in their respective cohort.

Unfortunately the incidence of ACL injuries are growing and so to does the evidence around testing protocols to ensure success when returning to sport! It’s now at a point where the evidence is near impossible to ignore and if it is chosen to be ignored then it’s done so without regard to the posed risk when returning to sport.

If you’re an athlete in the community or a practitioner without access to the appropriate testing equipment, then you need to refer to somewhere that does.

At Stride we welcome referrals from practitioners who are working with ACL injured clients that require testing. We use the most up to date protocols as well as the highest quality of equipment provided by VALD. If you’re an athlete or clinician interested in using our services to ensure your rehabilitation is not taking any shortcuts, click here or call our friendly team on 03 9370 0345 and we’ll be happy to help OR Book a time to see one of our experienced team members below.

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