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ACL injury, what next?
Elite Facilities. Superior Care

ACL injury, what next?

Twist, land and pop! There it is, a scenario no one wants to go through whether you’re an athlete, a recreational sportsperson or even just kicking the ball around at the park. The decisions moving forward will help to define your activity levels for the future.

Continuing on from Part 1 of our blogs on ACL injuries, no one wants to experience the dreaded ACL, but what happens if one does occur? What is the process and what can you expect?

With anything, there will be some uncertainty as to what is going on and you will most likely see a physiotherapist or sports physician for a diagnosis. If all signs lead to an ACL injury, you will most likely be sent off for an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Depending on your post-injury goals, (for example, a return to high impact sport), this may influence your decision to seek an orthopaedic surgeon's opinion, which are generally highly recommended. Each surgeon has their own preferable techniques when it comes to ACL repairs, but more often than not, part of one of your tendons from your semitendinosus (hamstrings) is grafted and used. Other alternatives are your patellar (knee) bone grafts and the now out of favour LARS (an artificial ligament).

If your traditional hamstring or patellar graft is used, depending on the quality, time and effort allowed for rehabilitation, return to sport time frames are usually situated around the 8-12 month mark for most semi-elite and general patients. What Recover Sports Medicine's physiotherapists are able to provide is a rehabilitation plan that is personally tailored to you, with your goals in mind. This program will target your physiological deficits to not only help reduce your risk of re-injury, but aim for you to return to sport at a higher level of performance. No matter whether you’re an aspiring athlete, already playing at the highest level or a weekend sport enthusiast, our elite physiotherapists will provide the best care for you and will aim to get you back to better than you were.

It is crucial to remember that once you have injured your ACL, the risk of re-injury is 15 times higher compared to your non-injured counterpart with research indicating that one in four people will re-injure themselves. Interestingly, you have a higher risk of injuring the opposite limb than you do the one you previously injured. As such, the higher the quality of your rehabilitation program, and your dedication to it, is imperative for the most positive outcomes possible for not only the present, but also the future.

With the knowledge of current research indicating that biomechanical measures during landing and postural stability assessment have predictive value for a second ACL injury, Recover Sports Medicine is the perfect environment along with our elite physiotherapists to help identify and decrease this risk. Recover Sports Medicine holds a 3D motion analysis lab which analyses and provides functional and qualitative data on movement patterns such as jumping and hopping. This allows our physiotherapists to provide functional goals and a rehabilitation program that is specifically designed to improve your deficiencies and hence, reduce the risk of re-injury.

Michael Giakoumis
Recover Sports Medicine


If you have any questions regarding this post, or wish to book in to see our Physiotherapists, please call us on 1300 858 774 or email contact@recoversportsmed.com.au

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