Tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are common knee injuries experienced by athletes and people with active lifestyles. It is important for members of the healthcare team to take an evidence-based approach to the diagnosis, surgical management, and postoperative rehabilitation of patients with an ACL-deficient knee. Mechanism of ACL injury and diagnostic testing is consistent throughout the literature. Patients frequently opt for ACL reconstruction, and many surgical techniques for ACL reconstruction are available with no clear consensus regarding superiority. Surgeon preference dictates the type of reconstruction and graft choice utilized. No standardized pre- and postoperative rehabilitation protocol exists. However, rehabilitation plays an important role in functional outcomes. A comprehensive rehabilitation program is needed pre- and postoperatively to produce positive patient outcomes.
Mary Atkinson Smith, DNP, FNP-BC, ONP-C, RNFA, CNOR, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, Starkville Orthopedic Clinic, Starkville, Mississippi; and Adjunct Faculty, Capstone College of Nursing, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
W. Todd Smith, MD, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, Starkville Orthopedic Clinic, Starkville, Mississippi.
Paul Kosko, PT, DPT, SCS, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy, Drayer Physical Therapy, Starkville, Mississippi.
The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.