Richard Stockton College Athletic Training

NFL- ACL Data

Summary of Data Collection in the National Football League on ACL Injuries.



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Information obtained from: Bradley, Sekiya, Kaplan. A Summary of ACL Injuries in the NFL. in Pro Football Athletic Trainer; 19(2): 2001, 4-5.


Data was compiled between 1994 and 1998. In addition a survey of NFL Team Physicians was conducted on ACL injury management.
—Grass and artificial turf had equal rates of ACL injuries.

—ACL injuries accounted for 2% of all injuries in the NFL.

—Over 66% of injuries occurred in games.
—79% of these injuries were isolated ACL tears. 21% involved damage to some other knee structure.
—By position, RB's had the highest risk of ACL injury.
—Special teams play is probably the most dangerous, accounting for 20% of the ACL injuries and accounting for very little actual game time.
—The greatest number of ACL injuries occurred in July and August, when athletes are in the poorest condition and practices are the most intense.
—Over 90% of team physicians recommeded acute ACL repair, meaning the athlete did not return to play before surgery.
—Over 90% of team physicans would wait at least 3 weeks before performing surgery. This allows for "prehab" or improvements in strength, range of motion and inflammation through rehab.
—If the ACL injury also included an MCL injury, 45% of the physicans would wait 4-6 weeks to allow for the MCL to heal before ACL surgery.
—Over 94% of the physicans would use a patellar tendon autograft as their graft of choice for ACL reconstruction.
—Post surgery 55% of physicans allowed full weight bearing immediately, while 42% limited their patients to crutches and partial weight bearing.
—87% of the surgeons allow range of motion as tolerated, while 42% use a passive Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine post-surgery.
—81% of the team physicans feel the ideal return to play time is 6-9 months post surgery.
—Nearly 100% of NFL athletes were able to return to competition after surgery (assuming the talent was there before the injury).
   
   
 
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