2015 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #1244

Return to Sport After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Professional Soccer Players

Stefano Zaffagnini, MD, Prof., Bologna ITALY
Alberto Grassi, MD, Bologna ITALY
Giulio Maria Marcheggiani-Muccioli, MD, PhD, Bologna ITALY
Stefano Della Villa, MD, Bologna, BO ITALY
Maurilio Marcacci, MD, Milano, Milano ITALY

Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, ITALY

FDA Status Cleared

Summary: Non-anatomical double-bundle ACL reconstruction allowed 71% of professional male soccer players to return to play competitive soccer at 4-year follow-up.




To investigate time to return to sport and rate of professional sport activity in a homogenous group of competitive soccer players 4years after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and rehabilitation.


Twenty-one male professional soccer players (mean age 22.9±5.4years) underwent non-anatomical double-bundle autologous hamstring ACL reconstruction and followed the same rehabilitative protocol. Clinical evaluation was performed preoperatively and at 3, 6 and 12-month follow-up. Data regarding return to train and official match, sport activity, complications and revision surgeries were collected at 4-year follow-up.


Laxity test (KT-2000) and total KOOS mean score resulted in a significant improvement from the preoperative status to the 12-month follow-up (p<0.0001). The KOOS mean value showed a significant progressive improvement from the preoperative status to 6-month follow-up (p=0.0010) as well, while values collected at 6 and 12-month follow-up were comparable (p=0.2349). Returned to official matches 186±53days after surgery. After 12months, 95% came back to the same activity level performed before injury. Four years after ACL reconstruction, 15 patients (71%) were still playing competitive soccer. One patient (5%) underwent ACL failure and subsequent revision.


The ACL reconstruction with the presented technique followed by patient-tailored rehabilitation, allowed 95% and 62% professional male soccer players to return to the same sport activity 1year and 4years after surgery respectively. However, 71% were still able to play competitive soccer at final follow-up. Clinical scores were restored after 6months. Level of evidence: IV, case series