Patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) are often psychologically and physically under-prepared for sports participation. This study compared readiness to return to sport based on completion of advanced training after ACLR. Patients with ACLR who self-selected participation in a 6-week group-format advanced training program (TRAINING) were compared to age- and sex-matched patients who did not participate (NoTRAINING). Each group had 23 participants (14 females). Advanced training consisted of plyometric, strengthening, and agility exercises. Baseline and follow-up testing included psychological measures (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Return to Sport after Injury [ACL-RSI]; Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia [TSK-11]; Knee Activity Self-Efficacy [KASE]; and fear intensity for the primary fear-evoking task or situation) and a hop test battery. Return to sport criteria were ACL-RSI score ≥70 points and limb symmetry index ≥90% on all hop tests. At follow-up, KASE score was higher in TRAINING than NoTRAINING (92.7 vs. 89.1 points; respectively), but ACL-RSI, TSK-11 and fear intensity scores were not significantly different between groups. Return to sport criteria passing rate was not significantly different between groups at baseline (TRAINING: 13%, NoTRAINING: 30%) or follow-up (TRAINING: 52%, NoTRAINING: 43%); however, the distribution of criteria met at follow-up differed with more patients in TRAINING than NoTRAINING meeting hop test criteria (30% vs. 4%, respectively) and more patients in NoTRAINING than TRAINING failing to meet any criteria (25% vs. 0%, respectively). Advanced training after ACLR facilitated readiness for sport participation by improving confidence and hop performance, but may not have a preferential effect on fear.
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- hop test
- return to sport testing