Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2008 Jun;18(3):325-35. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

Rehabilitation and recovery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: patients' experiences.

Author information

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Section of Orthopaedics and Sportsmedicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim was to explore patients' experiences of the rehabilitation process after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Ten participants were enrolled in the study. Semi-structured interviews were performed, focusing on challenges during the post-operative rehabilitation to 1 year after ACL reconstruction. The participants perceived no real choice between operative and non-operative treatment. Only surgery symbolized a full return to the pre-injury level of sports, and surgery was understood as the only way to become a completely restored "functional human being." A major source of frustration was that the meaning of and progress during the rehabilitation did not match their expectations. Three different responses to the challenge of a prolonged rehabilitation were expressed: "going for it,""being ambivalent," and "giving in." Fear of re-injury was common; however, some participants decided not to return to their pre-injury level of sports due to reasons other than physical limitations or fear of re-injury. From a patient perspective, it seems important that the choice of operative or non-operative treatment should be discussed in terms of the meaning and extent of the post-operative rehabilitation and the expected outcomes. There also seems to be a need for more guidance in realistic goal setting and coaching throughout the rehabilitation process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center