Paradigm Shift in ACLs – 631

Paradigm Shift in ACL Rehab is eligible for BOC Category A CEUsstart here

Rehabilitation for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction (ACLR) has for years followed the time-based approach progressing athletes to the next step based solely on how far they are out from surgery.  Research has shown that criteria based protocols, where each athlete only progresses once they reach a specific goal improves outcomes in patients, specifically athletic populations. (cited research) In this course, participants will learn and discuss different methodologies for athletic trainers to use determining rehabilitation advancement for patients returning from ACLR.


Why do we say that at 6 weeks every ACL should be able to do a partial squat and be at 90 degrees flexion?

Adrian Peterson only needed 6 months…he rehabbed 25 hours per week

  • Navarro Bowman had Failure To Thrive and was 12 months +
  • Normal rehabilitation is about 9 months but often they athlete still lacks full function at this point and they are not totally comfortable with their knee
  • Let’s look at it similar to school…you pass the test you move on…you fail the test you get held back.
  • 150,000-200,000 ACL surgeries per year.
  • How are we doing a disservice to our patients using a time-based rehab program?
  • NFL bases their timeline on RTP for week ONE readiness

What are the parameters for RTP?

Each phase should have criteria before advancing:

  • Physician approval
  • Published research
  • Biological healing

Tissue healing – know the biological clock and tissue remodeling for each surgery

  • Graft type fixation
  • Other ligaments involved
  • Meniscal repair
  • Microfracture probability
  • Published literature
  • Validates rehabilitation protocol
  • Widespread use by the paraprofessional
  • Looking at specific criteria for return to play

Watch the video inside the course or on Facebook

Contact us:

Bubba Wilson


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