Preventing OA After an ACL Injury: An OA Action Alliance Consensus Statement
The OA Action Alliance formed an interdisciplinary Secondary Prevention Task Group to develop consensus-based secondary prevention recommendations that offer clinicians a broad approach to reducing the risk of osteoarthritis (OA) after a person has an ACL injury. The task group agreed on 15 recommendations related to patient resources and education, comprehensive rehabilitation programs for safe return-to-sport, psychological skills training, regular physical activity participation, standardized physical testing, patient support programs and ethically sound use of technology to support recovery. A few highlights include:
- After an ACL injury or reconstruction, individuals should undergo a supervised, comprehensive and progressive rehabilitation program to address impairments and neuromuscular deficits, specifically those related to quality of movement, knee range of motion, quadriceps muscle strength and performance and functional performance before return to activity.
- Before full re-integration into a sport, individuals should gradually resume sport-specific training to restore metabolic conditioning, build tolerance to chronic training loads and adopt desired movement strategies.
- Psychological skills training should be considered as part of the short- and long-term care plans after ACL injury or reconstruction to prevent re-injury, improve overall health and wellness and encourage engagement in and adherence to physical activity.
- Optimize socially supportive environments after an ACL injury by recognizing and providing support for injury-related stigma, uncertainty in return to activity and threats to personal identity.
“This is a most definitive statement on OA prevention and care after an ACL injury,” says National Athletic Trainers’ Association President Kathy Dieringer, EdD, LAT, ATC. “As athletic trainers, we are committed to this focus on public health and the future of our aging population. The interdisciplinary approach to the statement’s development ensures collaboration across the health care landscape and an overall commitment to the prevention and treatment of OA.””
Injury taught me I need to learn how to face challenges.