Royal Marines Training: ACL Injury, Rehabilitation & Completion of Commando Training

Research Paper Title

ACL Injury in Royal Marine basic training: rehabilitation times and rates of completion of commando training.


Previous Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction is currently a contraindication for entry to the Royal Marines and Royal Navy. The British Army allows entry if potential entrants are asymptomatic 18 months post-ACL reconstruction. Current Royal Marines policy is to rehabilitate recruits who sustain an ACL disruption during training.

The researchers identified all Royal Marine recruits who had sustained an ACL injury during their training between 2003 and 2011. They retrospectively analysed their rehabilitation and looked at their rates of completing Commando training. Twelve recruits sustained an ACL injury during the study period representing an incidence of 0.15% per recruit per year. Nine of these recruits underwent ACL reconstruction during training, seven of whom went on to complete Commando training. All recruits who had their ACL injury managed non-operatively failed to complete Commando training.

ACL injury is uncommon in Royal Marine training. Whilst it is associated with a long rehabilitation time, it is not a barrier to successful completion of Commando training. The results suggest that surgical reconstruction is associated with a greater rate of training completion compared conservative management.


Arthur, C.H.C., Wood, A.M., Dyos-Bakker, J., Hales, R.J., Chapman, M. & Keenan, A.C.M. (2012) ACL Injury in Royal Marine Basic Training: Rehabilitation Times and Rates of Completion of Commando Training. Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service. 99(2), pp.76-77.



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