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Return To Play And Pattern Of Injury In A Consecutive Case Series Of Elite UEFA Football Player Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture

2023 Congress Paper Abstracts
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Return To Play And Pattern Of Injury In A Consecutive Case Series Of Elite UEFA Football Player Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Luca Farinelli, MD, ITALY Elisabeth Abermann, MD, AUSTRIA Amit Meena, MBBS, MS, DNB, INDIA Christian Fink, MD, Prof., AUSTRIA

Gelenkpunkt - Sports and Joint surgery, Innsbruck, Austria, AUSTRIA


2023 Congress   ePoster Presentation   2023 Congress   Not yet rated

 

Anatomic Location

Diagnosis / Condition

Ligaments

ACL

Patient Populations

Diagnosis Method

MRI


Summary: High rate Return to play in Elite UEFA football players after ACL reconstruction


Background

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture represents a career threatening injury for professional football players.
Hypothesis/Purpose: The aim of the present study was to analyze the pattern of injury, return to play (RTP) and performance of a consecutive series of Elite professional footballers.
Study design: case series.

Methods

The present study represents a retrospective analysis of consecutive ACL reconstructions performed in professional footballers between September 2018 and May 2022.

Results

40 elite professional football players were included in the study. 37 (93%) were male with average age at surgery of 23.84 ± 4.66 years. Three female (7%) were included with an average age of 23.3 ± 3.06. The injury occurred during matches in 93% of cases with non-contact mechanism in 80% of cases. No predominant position on the pitch was observed.
Meniscal pathology was found in 32 patients (80%). 22 players (55%) underwent ACL reconstruction with Bone Patella Tendon (BPT) autograft and 18 (45%) with soft tissue Quadricep Tendon (QT). Eight (20%) patients underwent to isolated ACL reconstruction, on the other hand, 32 (80%) patients underwent to complex reconstruction with concomitant procedures. Lateral extraarticular tenodesis (LET) was added in 11 patients (28%). Age, graft selection, concomitant treatments and LET have not been significantly (p>0.05) associated to prolonged RTP. The mean percentage of minutes played during the last season before ACL injury (MPS-PRE%) was 56.69% ± 21.71% and it decreased to 29.18% ± 20.6 (P<.001) in the first postoperative season. However, it raised to 57.75% ± 22.89 (P=.54) in the second post operative season (MPS2%); and to 55.89% ± 25.8 (p=.48) in the third post operative season (MPS3%). Two (6%) re-rupture of the graft and two (6%) failed meniscal repairs were reported.

Conclusion

ACL reconstruction in elite UEFA football players using soft tissue QT and BPT graft is associated to high rate of RTP and low rate of re-injury. Due to high probability of associated injuries, a systematic and careful inspection of cartilage and menisci must be performed during ACL reconstruction. Age, graft selection, concomitant treatments and LET have not been significantly associated with prolonged RTP. If general use of LET should be recommended in this population cannot be conclusively answered through this study.


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