One of the most common injuries among athletes is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. To treat ACL tears, many athletes undergo reconstructive surgery to increase their chances of returning to sports. After a 6-10 month recovery and rehabilitation period, ACL surgery patients should be cleared by a physician before they begin playing again. The full ACL recovery time for athletes can vary, so an ACL test is important in determining if it is safe for your child to return to his or her favorite sports. 

ACL return to sport protocol

Because ACL tear patients face a 25 percent chance of suffering a second ACL injury, we take return to sports assessments seriously. Even after surgical reconstruction, patients with prior ACL tears have a 50% risk of arthritis ten years following treatment. To minimize the future risk for your young athlete, our trained Sports Health professionals perform a comprehensive biomechanical motion analysis that assesses your child’s strength, power, symmetry, and re-injury risk. Your child must have a prescription to receive an ACL return to sports test, and we encourage you to ask about any insurance benefits that may be available. 

About our ACL Injury Prevention Program

The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital ACL Injury Prevention Program is designed to identify and correct errors that increase ACL injury risk. Our program has the potential to decrease the risk of an ACL injury by 50-70% and our trained professionals are committed to the safety of all young patients and athletes. 


Reviewed by: Lauren Butler, PT, DPT, SCS

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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