Department of Nutrition Student Projects

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Submission Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nutrition Science (MS)

First Mentor

Stephanie Petrosky, D.C.N., M.H.A., RDN, LDN, FAND

Second Mentor

Marilyn Gordon, Ed.D., RDN, CSSD, LDN


Nutrient, Supplementation, ACL, Recovery, Female, Basketball, Rehabilitation, Pre- and Post Operation


Understanding how nutrition and dietary protocols can help female athletes in the process of “returning to sport” after an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair surgery should be discussed amongst interprofessional post-operational care teams. Amongst athletes, female counterparts experience ACL injuries at a higher incidence rate than males, this is due to a variety of biological factors while returning to sport at a lower rate. Due to this, it is important to analyze and evaluate the data available from sports journals on the effects diet and supplements may have on the musculoskeletal system. ACL grafts are often taken from a donating section of the patient's tendons, which commonly can come from the quadriceps or patellar tendon. The subsequent muscular atrophy and tendon instability contribute to the difficult rehabilitation process as well and the time it takes for an ACL graft to be fully vascularized and integrated can prolong an athlete's return to sport. The literature aims to examine if there is a relationship between dietary supplementation of certain nutrients and improved recovery outcomes that can be used to increase an athlete's return to sport rate. This will be done through a literature review where gathered information will be used to design a nutritional protocol paired with the traditional ACL rehabilitation protocol to aid female basketball players in their recovery and return to sport.