“Doctor, What Happens After My Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction?”

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It is important to educate patients on what to expect following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (ACLR), with respect to both the short-term and long-term outcome.A high preinjury activity level, younger age, male sex, positive psychological response to return to sport training, and use of autograft can positively influence a patient’s ability to return to sport.There is an increased risk of graft rupture and injury of the contralateral ACL in young active patients, particularly in young female soccer players; nonanatomic tunnel placement and use of (irradiated) allograft tissue also increase the risk of revision.The current literature does not support a prophylactic benefit of ACLR in reducing the rate of knee osteoarthritis after an ACL injury.Meniscal integrity plays an important role in the long-term functional outcome of a patient after ACLR.An ACL injury increases a patient’s risk for undergoing a total knee arthroplasty later in life.

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