This topic has been in dispute within the Sports Medicine community for over the last 10 years. Though certain physicians suggest that an athlete may return to a high level sport within six months, it is unrealistic and may put the athlete at risk. Even with the advent of anatomic reconstructions, pre-habilitation and utilizing a patient’s own tissue (Bone patella tendon bone), all of which lower the incidence of re-rupture, it takes nearly 9 to 10 months for the ligamentization process to occur. The graft, once positioned, acts as a scaffold and takes several months for the conversion process into a ligament to take place. This is when its the athlete’s responsibility to follow their postoperative regimen with a diligent rehabilitation program, thus allowing them to return to a high level of activity. So don’t be too eager to return to your sport, as re-injuries can often occur necessitating additional surgery and an untimely delay to recover.
Alfred A. DeSimone, MD
Director of Sports Medicine
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon