Returning Athletes to Sports Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears

Anna M. Ptasinski, Mark Dunleavy, Temitope Adebayo, Robert A. Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to discuss treatment options, rehabilitation protocols, return-to-play criteria, and expected outcomes after non-operative and operative treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears among an athletic population. Recent Findings: Non-operative treatment may be a viable option for some athletes with an ACL tears but can be difficult to predict “copers,” and those that resume to sports return at lower performance level and/or less intense activities. Most studies assessing function after ACL reconstruction demonstrate favorable outcomes using patient-reported outcome studies. However, return-to-play and graft re-rupture rates vary substantially based on patient characteristics and level and type of athletic activity. Grafts used to reconstruct ACL produce similar objective outcomes and favorable patient-reported outcomes but have variable re-rupture rates depending on study and differ largely on morbidity associated with graft harvest. Summary: Various treatment methods including non-operative and operative techniques have been demonstrated to be efficacious in returning athletes to athletic activity depending on patient age and level of activity. Adherence to fundamental rehabilitation principles and accepted return-to-play guidelines can optimize outcomes and limit re-injury to the injured or contralateral limb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-628
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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