I'm not a professional athlete, and I don't even compete locally. But I do like to keep in shape by playing soccer, running, and biking. After a downhill skiing injury last winter I had an ACL reconstruction. I'd like to get back to my regular activities but I want to know if my knee is "normal." Is there any way to test this?

Knee function can be measured and assessed in several ways. Some patients just ease their way back into sports and activities based on how their symptoms and level of confidence. There's actually a Knee Ligament Rating System your doctor can use to help answer your question. There are four parts: current sports activity level, ability to engage in sports, function, and amount of pain, swelling, and giving way.

The patient and the doctor each answer questions. Each part is rated from zero to 100 percent with 100 percent being the maximum function or best score. Researchers report it's a reliable grading system that helps predict results better than other tools or rating systems.

Check with your physician about using this tool for your purposes. You may get just as good information from the physician's tests and exam, but confirmation of the findings is always reassuring too.