The recent high profile injuries to players preparing for the Rugby World Cup highlights the vexed question of when can I play after an injury. Rupture of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament remains a significant knee injury but with modern techniques of surgery and rehabilitation there should be a high expectation that players can return to the field of dreams.
Return to sports after injury
Whilst there are plenty of tests and measurements that can be made to ensure that muscle strength is recovered and movement of the joint is back to normal, there is as yet no specific test that says you are safe to return to playing matches. By and large, athletes will be performing at a very high level from around four months onwards following ACL reconstruction but whilst everyone wants a specific date, the answer as to when you are ready to play is when you are ready!
Experienced physiotherapists will have the best idea as to when the player is performing without any obvious inhibition from their knee, but one of the things I tell all of my patients is that they have to be honest with themselves and to be at a point where they no longer think about their knee when they are training and performing in match type situations. To my mind this is the body’s intuitive signal that the risk of re-injury has returned to the lowest possible level.
Get in touch to book a consultation at either Mr Jonathan Webb’s Bristol or London clinics.