The anterior cruciate injury affects sports activity and not only knee function, but also an athlete's fitness levels. These capacities must be recovered before unrestrained return to sports activities. Otherwise, their performance would be lower and their risk of reinjury higher.
When performing an ACL reconstruction in athletes, our ultimate goal is their return to sport at previous levels. This goal demands not only adequate knee function, but also proper strength, confidence, and fitness. We decided to assess aerobic capacity in professional soccer players after ACL reconstruction. We hypothesized that their fitness level would be significantly lower compared to a control group of players.
Aerobic fitness, assessed by VO2max, is impaired in soccer players with an ACL injury and persists six months after reconstruction, with standard rehabilitation. Although it seems pretty logical, it is seldom measured, and patients, doctors, physical therapists, trainers, and coaches expect that the athlete will return to play at the same level when released to full sports activities. We observe that this is not true for at least 40% of the cases, despite the success of the surgical procedure. We showed that VO2max must be included as criteria for full sports activities return in high demand athletes.Dr. Adriano Marques Almeida, MD, MsC
PLoS One 2018 22;13(3):e0194432. Epub 2018 Mar 22.
Sports Medicine Discipline, Instituto de Ortopedia e Traumatologia, Hospital das Clínicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.
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