Return to sports after ACL reconstruction

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.

Sam Bradford ACL

NFL Player Sam Bradford isn’t fully healed from an ACL Injury

Alfred A. DeSimone, MD
Director of Sports Medicine
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon