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Marshall, Nathan E.; Keller, Robert A.; Mehran, Nima; Austin, William; Moutzouros, Vasilios (2016)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal: Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the functional performance of NFL combine participants after ACL reconstruction compared with an age-, size-, and position-matched control group. The hypothesis was that there would be no difference between players after ACL reconstruction as compared with controls in functional athletic performance. Methods: A total of 98 NFL-caliber athletes who had undergone primary ACL reconstruction and participated in the NFL scouting combine between 2010 and 2014 were reviewed and compared with an age-, size-, and position-matched control group. Data recorded for each player included a 40-yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, shuttle drill, and 3-cone drill. Results: With regard to speed and acceleration, the mean 40-yard dash time for ACL-reconstructed players was 4.74 seconds (range, 4.33-5.55 seconds) compared with controls at 4.74 seconds (range, 4.34-5.38 seconds; P = .96). Jumping performance was also similar, with a mean vertical leap for ACL-reconstructed players of 33.35 inches (range, 23-43 inches) and broad jump of 113.9 inches (range, 96-136 inches) compared with respective values for the controls of 33.22 inches (range, 23.5-43.5 inches; P = .84) and 113.9 inches (range, 92-134 inches; P = .99). Agility and quickness testing measures also did not show a statistically significantly difference, with ACL-reconstructed players performing the shuttle drill in 4.37 seconds (range, 4.02-4.84 seconds) and the 3-cone drill in 7.16 seconds (range, 6.45-8.14 seconds), respectively, compared with respective times for the controls of 4.37 seconds (range, 3.96-5.00 seconds; P = .91) and 7.18 seconds (range, 6.64-8.24 seconds; P = .75). Conclusion: This study suggests that after ACL reconstruction, high-caliber athletes can achieve equivalent levels of perfor- mance with no statistically significant differences compared with matched controls. This information is unique when advising high-level athletes on athletic performance after ACL reconstruction, suggesting that those who fully recover and return to play appear to have no decrement in athletic performance.
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