Can you return to training without an ACL?
In fighting and grappling the knee is a commonly injured area. One of the most devastating injuries a fighter can have is an ACL tear, because complete tears often require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. So if a fighter gets an ACL rupture it will require a reconstruction before they can return to training, right? .
New evidence shows that is depends.
Copers vs. noncopers: 42% of people are copers, meaning they have enough leg strength and dynamic balance to function despite not having an ACL.
IDing a coper:
• No other injuries
• Minimal swelling • Full ROM
• Able to walk without a limp
• 70% quadriceps strength on bilateral comparison
• Hop on leg without pain
•1 or less incidents of knee giving out.
ACL reconstruction is still the gold standard for ACL injuries, which is a decision up to the athlete, surgeon and other medical staff. However there are many high level athletes who return to activity without a functional ACL.
Logerstedt, D. S., Snyder-Mackler, L., Ritter, R. C., Axe, M. J., & Godges, J. J. (2010). Knee stability and movement coordination impairments: knee ligament sprain: clinical practice guidelines linked to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 40(4), A1-A37.