ACL Tear Recovery - The Good News
Good News For ACL Tear Recovery
Some recent data has shown that athletes coming back from ACL injuries can not only return to their pre-injury level but often exceed where they had been. It's truly a new era for ACL tear recovery.
I know from personal experience that on the US Ski Team, for instance, most of the athletes historically have had their best successes after their first major knee injury.
Recent Study on ACL Tear Recovery From The French Ski Team
Now the French Alpine Ski Team has published a study showing that longer careers and more successes were seen in French athletes that had torn their ACL at some point during their career.
Highlights of the study:
- According to the study, 23% of their athletes that had torn their ACL at some point had achieved a podium in their career.
- Just 8% of their athletes that had never torn their ACL ever achieved a podium.
- More than 3 x as many podiums were achieved in athletes AFTER ACL tear recovery.
With recent innovations, the time to recover from an ACL injury will continue to decrease.
Pain (and Gain) when it comes to ACL Tear Recovery
With modern, minimally invasive techniques to reconstruct the ACL, pain is rarely an issue affecting the rehabilitation.
We have already reviewed that return to sport, and the timing of return, is partly a rehabilitation issue, and partly a “mother nature” issue meaning that we have to wait for the new ACL to “remodel” or get strong enough to accept the loads required to participate in sports.
"Season-Ending" (For Now) When It Comes to ACL Tear Recovery
For now, ACL injuries may be a season ending injury. But as we improve our biologic enhancement of healing with growth factors, stem cells, PRP, and nutrition, the time to return to sports after ACL surgery will continue to decrease.
Full ACL Tear Recovery Timeline
It may take the new ACL a full year to remodel currently and get as strong as it is going to, yet we often allow athletes back to sports at 6-9 months once their rehabilitation is complete. Hopefully we can feel more confident doing this going forward.
Your ACL Tear Recovery - Return to Sports With Confidence
So while ACL injuries used to be considered career ending, and are now considered season ending, we shouldn’t be afraid to shoot for a return to sports at our previous level of success….or higher!