Returning to sport after ACL surgery - When are you ready?

What is guiding your return to sport after your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery?


What makes you confident in your decision to return to sport?

We too often see clients who have no clear pathway to return to sport. Here is a brief snapshot of what we assess to make sure we are helping our clients decrease their risk of re-injury when returning to sport:

  1. >90% on lower limb strength testing comparative to uninjured side

  2. >90% on hop testing comparative to uninjured side (single leg hop, single leg triple hop, single leg crossover hop, timed 6m hop, lateral hop)

  3. >9 months post surgery

  4. Implementation of an ongoing prevention program

  5. Confidence to return to sport as assessed through questionnaires

We know that returning to cutting sports like AFL, soccer, rugby, netball after an ACL surgery means around a 4 times greater risk of re-injury. Making sure you meet these criteria before return to sport has been shown to reduce injury rates by up to 84%.

What guiding your decision to return to sport after ACL reconstruction? We’d love to know!



A subset of people who suffer an ACL rupture can successfully return to sport without surgery.

We refer to them as copers or responders.

How do we identify them and have a successful return to sport?

  1. Screen for suitability - this isn't for everyone
  2. Systematically rehab - progression is key
  3. Test against objective criteria with minimum standards