PERCEPTIONS OF REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO SPORT AMONG HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES WITH ACL RECONSTRUCTION: A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH STUDY.

Review written by Linda Truong info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Recovery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) is a long and arduous journey with only 65% of patients reporting that they return back to their pre-injury sport. Prolonged periods of inactivity, psychosocial factors (e.g. fear of re-injury) and changes in priorities have been established as factors that impact participation in sport and recreation activities after ACLR; however most of this research has been done in adults. This study aimed to develop a better understanding of the positive and negative perceptions of the rehabilitation and return to sport process among adolescents who had not yet returned to sport after ACLR.

METHODS

Semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with adolescents who had an ACLR but had not yet been cleared to return to sport (RTS). A total of 10 participants (aged 15-18 years old) from various sports were interviewed. All participants were in high school, participated in a sports team prior to the ACL injury, and were not greater than 12 months after ACLR. Prior to the interview, participants also completed the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Scale, Tegner Activity Scale, Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia and Athlete Fear Avoidance Questionnaire. Interview questions focused on barriers encountered during rehabilitation, and characteristics (e.g. program strengths, weaknesses, key players during the rehabilitation process, recommendations to improve their experience) that positively or negatively impacted their rehabilitation and RTS processes.

RESULTS

The common themes generated were barriers for returning to physical activity and positive/negative recovery factors. Barriers to returning to physical activity included physical and psychological factors with a greater emphasis on the psychological barriers playing a role in recovery. Positive

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