ACL Tears in the Athlete Over 40

Catherine Logan

December 22nd, 2020

“Accelerated rehabilitation programs may be more desirable in older athletes to facilitate return to work and family life; however, rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction may be prolonged, and the healing response may be less robust in older patients because of reduced ability to regain muscle strength and increased time needed to regain coordination.”

Patients aged older than 40 years are remaining active and participating in high-level sports at later stages in life, which has led to an increase in ACL injuries in this age group.

Appropriately selected older patients may benefit from ACL reconstruction and have similar complications and outcomes as younger athletes.

ACL reconstruction can improve function and enable return to sport in the older athlete, whereas activity modification and nonoperative treatment may be the preferred treatment in lower-functioning patients or non-athletes.

This article provides a great overview of ACLR timing, graft choice, and postoperative rehabilitation.