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Sports and ACL Tears

Which Sports Rely Most on Having a Normal ACL


Updated October 19, 2013

acl sports tear

Soccer is a sport that requires a normal ACL.

Image © Irina Igumnova

Some sports are considered high-demand sports that require an intact ACL for performance. Other sports do not require an ACL for most athletes. Patients who participate in high demand sports usually require surgery after an ACL tear to return to participation.

Deciding if you need ACL reconstruction surgery depends, in large part, on what activities you want to return to after treatment. High-demand sports are those in which most athletes require a functioning ACL. Athletes who participate in low-demand sports may not need an ACL to return to competition.

High-Demand Sports

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Skiing
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey (Ice and Field)
  • Wrestling
  • Lacrosse
  • Rugby
  • Singles Tennis
  • Cheerleading

Moderate-Demand Sports

  • Baseball
  • Doubles Tennis
  • Track (Field Events)

Low-Demand Sports

  • Running/Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Crew


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