Ardern et al’s (2016) consensus statement on Return to Sport (RTS) following ACL reconstruction notes that the goal of the athlete (along with other stakeholders eg, coach, club, medical team) is a successful ‘safe and timely’ return to sport.
This highlights the importance of balancing three key components
Minimising time away from play
Minimising reinjury risk
Maximising sporting performance upon return to play
…………….and raises a few questions
How good are we at achieving these goals?
Are they realistic?
Can we achieve all of them together?
Or does prioritizing one reduce the likelihood of success in the other domains?
This decision is often influenced by factors including
The demands of the individual’s sport eg. Football vs javelin throwing
The athletes level of competition eg. professional vs recreational
Time point of injury eg. Off season vs lead up to Olympics
First time injury vs second ACL injury
And the stage of the athlete in their career eg. youth player vs nearing retirement
We’ll be looking at the theme of recovery from ACL injury from a few perspectives to discuss what a successful recovery is, why certain groups of people do or don’t achieve successful outcomes, and how to best work with individuals, within the scope of current evidence to help them optimize their outcomes.