ACL Rehab: Returning to Play Faster and With Full Ability

ACL Rehab

ACL Rehab: Tips for Returning to Play

When we see patients, who sustain an ACL tear, often, the first question they ask is, “When will I be able to play again?” We know athletes are always anxious to get back in the game. However, a thorough ACL rehab program is essential to prevent re-injury and allow the athlete to function at their goal level in the long-term.

How ACL Rehab Speeds Return-To-Play After Surgery

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear is one of the most common traumatic knee injuries in sports. It is especially prevalent in athletes who participate in high-demand sports such as football, soccer and basketball. Female soccer and basketball players are significantly at a greater risk of an ACL injury than their male counterparts. Thankfully, many advances have been made in the treatment over the years. What was once considered a devastating, career-ending injury, now leaves room for hope, as medical research continues to evolve

At Twin Boro, we don’t put a timeline on returning to sports after ACL reconstruction surgery. Instead, return-to-play is based on an individual’s ability to perform sport specific agility activities at the desired functional level. All of this is achieved through a progressive ACL rehab protocol that is set in motion, before the surgery even happens.

Study: Return To Play Checklist Reduces Re-injury For Athletes Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Previously, after ACL reconstruction, time was the major criterion for determining when an athlete should return to play. A common guideline used to be six months after an ACL reconstruction. But, now, a new study, “Safer Return to Play Following ACL Reconstruction: Validation of an Evidence-Based Checklist,” sheds light on how a return-to-play checklist can help patients decrease the incidence of injury to the knee:

“Historically after ACL reconstruction, orthopaedic surgeons would use time as the major criterion for determining when athletes should return…The concept behind the return to play checklist was that the calendar didn’t optimally determine functional status to see if the patient had thoroughly rehabilitated or if they remained at risk for re-injury. With our latest study, we were able to put the checklist into motion to compare athletes whose return to play was determined by the checklist to those athletes whose return to play was determined by traditional clinical judgement.”

The evidence-based checklist, developed by sports medicine researchers at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, includes seven objective measures—including physical exam findings, functional testing (hop and agility testing, movement assessment for jumping and landing mechanics), and a functional outcome score.

ACL Rehab in NJ and Return-to-Play Safely

To help patients get back to their sports safely and with minimal risk of re-injury, Twin Boro developed the One2Four Protocol. Utilized at all 23 locations throughout New Jersey, One2Four is a method for patients to follow in order to achieve specific activity goals. At the outset, these goals may seem impossible, but with the proper guidance and time, obtainable. This allows patients to progress from one level to another, resulting in performing at the required functional level. Level 4 has been achieved within the One2Four program.

Simply put, One2Four can help ACL rehab patients obtain higher physical performance/functional levels. Read more about our unique approach here.

Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques are incorporated into effective evidence-based practice. We deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of

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