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Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.8 - 2006
CASE REPORT – abstract

Rehabilitation after total ACL rupture in top athletes

Carmen Diaconu1, F. Raducan1, R. Diaconu2
1 Emergency Hospital Craiova, Romania, Department of Sports Medicine
2 University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Romania


The knee joint is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. The joint capsule and ligaments are particularly vulnerable to injury. The primary function of the knee ligaments is to stabilize the knee, to control normal kinematics, and to prevent abnormal displacements and rotations that may damage articular surfaces.

We are presenting the case of an 18 yrs old female top handballer admitted to our hospital for left knee trauma. The clinical findings suggested knee sprain so we performed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which showed an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) total rupture associated with lateral meniscus lesion ( third degree Stoller). The diagnosis was later confirmed using arthroscopy – the intervention was completed with partial meniscectomy. The patient was included into a recovery program. After eight weeks, the follow up showed complete clinical recovery, so the patient rejoined the sportive training and was even selected to play into national handball league. The patient regained the preinjury level, without any knee disability, so a second intervention (ACL reconstruction) was considered futile. The case showed that the musculary stabilizing elements of the joint may entirely compensate a complete ACL lesion. It seems that the top athletes (this is the third case in our 10 yrs experience) may not always require ACL reconstruction after complete rupture (even this approach is still considered compulsory in sports medicine).

Key words: 

total ACL rupture, athletes, knee instability

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