Context: Management of isolated grade III medial collateral ligament injuries is controversial, as both nonoperative and operative management can result in return to play. However, operative management is recommended in elite athletes who have a grade III injury with distal avulsion. Objective: We present a standardized rehabilitation protocol in a case series of 7 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I American football athletes who sustained grade III distal medial collateral ligament tears that were repaired operatively, with emphasis on return to play. Results: Median time to surgery was 4 days (range = 2-67 days). Median time from surgery to noncontact drills was 120.5 days (range = 104-168 days), and median time from surgery to full-contact sport was 181 days (range = 139-204 days). All athletes returned to play at their preinjury level of competition. Conclusions: Our study highlighted how operative management with a standardized rehabilitation protocol can be applied to Division I football players and result in safe return to play.
- Case series
- Physical rehabilitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation