The thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions of NFL players who successfully returned to football after anterior cruciate ligament surgery

Ness, Julie D., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Rotella, Robert J., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Using a naturalistic paradigm, interviews were conducted to study the thoughts, attitudes, and/or perceptions of National Football League (NFL) players who returned to football after reconstructive Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery. The players discussed the injury, surgery, rehabilitation in the training room, rehabilitation on the field, and advice for injured athletes. Case studies report the unique qualities of the individuals returning to football. Content analysis of the interview transcripts provided frequency counts of themes discussed by each player. Cross-case analysis was employed to provide a comparison of frequencies of these themes. Each case was unique although several players discussed similar subjects. A strong desire to return to the field, a need to be mentally prepared for any plateaus, and a high tolerance for pain were most frequently discussed. Recommendations for practice as well as further research are included.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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