Athletic Performance at the National Basketball Association Combine After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.
Mehran N, Williams PN, Keller RA, Khalil LS, Lombardo SJ, and Kharrazi FD. Athletic performance at the national basketball association combine after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Orthop J Sports Med 2016; 4(5):2325967116648083
Orthop J Sports Med
BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are significant injuries in elite-level basketball players. In-game statistical performance after ACL reconstruction has been demonstrated; however, few studies have reviewed functional performance in National Basketball Association (NBA)-caliber athletes after ACL reconstruction.
PURPOSE: To compare NBA Combine performance of athletes after ACL reconstruction with an age-, size-, and position-matched control group of players with no previous reported knee injury requiring surgery. We hypothesized that there is no difference between the 2 groups in functional performance.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.
METHODS: A total of 1092 NBA-caliber players who participated in the NBA Combine between 2000 and 2015 were reviewed. Twenty-one athletes were identified as having primary ACL reconstruction prior to participation in the combine. This study group was compared with an age-, size-, and position-matched control group in objective functional performance testing, including the shuttle run test, lane agility test, three-quarter court sprint, vertical jump (no step), and maximum vertical jump (running start).
RESULTS: With regard to quickness and agility, both ACL-reconstructed athletes and controls scored an average of 11.5 seconds in the lane agility test and 3.1 seconds in the shuttle run test (P = .745 and .346, respectively). Speed and acceleration was measured by the three-quarter court sprint, in which both the study group and the control group averaged 3.3 seconds (P = .516). In the maximum vertical jump, which demonstrates an athlete's jumping ability with a running start, the ACL reconstruction group had an average height of 33.6 inches while the controls averaged 33.9 inches (P = .548). In the standing vertical jump, the ACL reconstruction group averaged 28.2 inches while the control group averaged 29.2 inches (P = .067).
CONCLUSION: In athletes who are able to return to sport and compete at a high level such as the NBA Combine, there is no significant difference in any combine performance test between players who have had primary ACL reconstruction compared with an age-, size-, and position-matched control group.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Athletes with previous ACL reconstruction who are able to return to high-level professional basketball have equivalent performance measures with regard to speed, quickness, and jumping ability as those athletes who have not undergone knee surgery.