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Preventing and managing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury

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.