Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the worst knee injuries to sustain in sport, with less than 50% of athletes returning to sport in the first year following surgery and high rates of reinjury. The process for either reducing ACL injury risk or rehabilitating a patient following an ACL repair, are essentially the same. This article outlines the risk factors for ACL injury, provides tools to help you assess injury risk and recommends strategies for rehabilitation as well as for injury prevention. To help you visualise the function of the ACL we have included four animations that bring the anatomical structure and the injury mechanism to life. You can use the certificated elearning assessment or the ‘journal club’ style group discussion questions at the end of the article as part of your continuing education portfolio and you can support your clients with the two printable patient hand-outs, one covering information on ACL injury and reconstruction and the other giving early stage rehabilitation exercises.
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Dr Ian Horsley MSc PhD, MCSP MMACP CSCS is currently the lead physiotherapist for the English Institute of Sport (North West), and a technical lead.
He completed his PhD in 2013 which investigated the intrinsic causes of shoulder injuries within the rugby tackle.
He is an associate lecturer at Salford University lecturing on the Sports Rehabilitation MSc, working with Lee Herrington, and continuing upper limb and lower limb research.
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Dr Lee Herrington MSc PhD, MSCP CSCS qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 1990 from Manchester University, having previously completed a degree in Human Biology from Loughborough University. In 1996 Lee was awarded an MSc in Sports Injury and Therapy from Manchester Metropolitan University. He has also been certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (USA) as a strength and conditioning specialist and by the Cincinnati Sports Medicine Research and Education foundation as a Sportsmetrics™ trainer.
Currently, Lee is a lecturer in Sports Rehabilitation at the University of Salford and has links with the Manchester Metropolitan University, Prince Faisal Sports Medicine Hospital in Saudi Arabia as well as being a member of the international advisory board to the Journal of Physical Therapy in Sport.
He has worked with elite sportspersons for the last 15 years including time with Great Britain Rugby League and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, amongst others.
Lee’s specialist areas of clinical interest are the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries, specifically patellofemoral joint pain and rehabilitation following knee surgery (principally ACL and complex ligament reconstruction).
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