ACL surgery is common in high school and adolescent athletes. Many return to sport at an average of 10 months after surgery.
The most common grafts used in this age group are hamstring and patellar tendon autografts (from the patient-not cadaver).
91 % of athletes returned to sports at an average of 10 months. The 9 % that did not return were physically able to return but made a decision not to risk reinjury to either knee.
19 % of the patients re-tore the ACL in the same knee and 13 % of patients re-tore the ACL in the opposite knee. The prevalence of a second ACL tear was 32 %. The data in this study showed an earlier return to sport in this age group increased the likelihood of ACL re-tear (either knee).
We still have a lot to learn about young athletes and ACL tear. Two things are certain. The re-tear rate for each knee is high and early return to sport is a risk factor for repeat ACL tear.