AUC Assumptions and Disclaimer:


  • This is a tool to determine whether it is appropriate for the patient to return to the activity (play) that caused the injury OR equivalent level of activity.
  • This AUC is intended for patients seeking to re-engage in regular physical activity.
  • The patient has met criteria for psychological readiness to return to sport.
  • The patient has met criteria for functional range of motion.
  • The patient has attested, or surgeon observes functional skills are performed adequately.
  • If available, the patient is recommended to participate in an ongoing ACL-prevention program upon Return to Sport
  • A functional test (or tests) for balance was performed.
  • A functional test (or tests) for strength was performed.
  • Rehabilitation can include activities such as physical therapy, strengthening exercises, other rehabilitation interventions etc.
  • The knee is not indicated for surgical treatment of persistent (non-operative treatment) or recurrent (operative treatment) ACL insufficiency.
    • I.e., These scenarios do not apply when surgical treatment (reconstruction or revision) is indicated.


  • Non-Operative Treatment: Including but not limited to Phased Supervised Physical Therapy, may or may not include bracing, activity modification.


Volunteer physicians from multiple medical specialties created and categorized these Appropriate Use Criteria. These Appropriate Use Criteria are not intended to be comprehensive or a fixed protocol, as some patients may require more or less treatment or different means of diagnosis. These Appropriate Use Criteria represent patients and situations that clinicians treating or diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions are most likely to encounter. The clinician’s independent medical judgment, given the individual patient’s clinical circumstances, should always determine patient care and treatment. Practitioners are advised to consider management options in the context of their own training and background and institutional capabilities when selecting recommended treatment options.


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