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Players reveal ACL re-injury fears


Tuesday February 14th 2012

The number of football players who return to the game after reconstructive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery may not be as high as originally thought, researchers have said.

This type of knee surgery reportedly has high success rates, but some players said fear of re-injury made them bow out of the game, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in San Francisco.

A study by the society looked at data from those who were registered in the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network cohort and who had the surgery in 2002 and 2003.

Out of 149 people who played for high school and college teams, 62% and 72% respectively returned to play.

Kurt P Spindler, the report's senior author and MD of Vanderbilt Sports Medicine, said: "Previous research shows that reconstructive surgeries are a generally effective treatment for ACL injured knees.

"While athletes may be physically capable of playing, we sometimes ignore other factors that may prevent them from getting back out there."

Some 28% of the group said that they failed to return to their previous performance level.

Fear of re-injury prevented 53% of high school players and 44% of college players from returning to football.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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