In our previous posts we have detailed the risk factors for ACL injury and the effectiveness of Physical Therapy to reduce this risk especially among adolescents. A percentage of athletes who return to sport will re injure their ACL leading to further surgeries and Physical Therapy. A delayed return to sport allows the athlete more time to resolve muscle imbalances and coordination impairments leading to decreased re injury risk. As we learn more about these athletes who re injure their ACL reconstructions we will have a better idea of how to prevent the injuries.
A recent large study in the The American Journal of Sports Medicine reviewed patient charts who underwent an ACL reconstruction surgery in the US Military over a 7 year period (Pullen et al. 2016). Over 17,000 procedures were performed over this time period and 587 soldiers underwent revision surgery (3.6%). The median time to re injury among these individuals was 500 days. Athletes at greater risk of re injury included younger, active duty soldiers who took anti inflammatory medication during the perioperative period. This study also identifies the potential harm of taking anti inflammatories during rehabilitation for ACL repair.