Celebrate Super Bowl 50 and Check Out These Findings on Return to Play after ACL Injuries in Football

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, there is a lot of excitement and preparation for coaches, players and even their fans. This year, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy at Super Bowl 50 on February 7th. Super Bowl Sunday has become an unofficial holiday in America because of its popularity and tradition. This event brings together some of the best athletes in the country to compete against one another for the highest award in their sport.

ACL injuries in footballIn 2015, football was ranked the No.1 sport in America based on TV ratings, revenue and overall interest. This sport has inspired viewers and athletes alike. Today, there are more than 1 million football players in the U.S. This number includes professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes. Many of these athletes got their start in youth football leagues and have continued to play for many years to come.

Football is a highly competitive, intense contact sport. With the level of competition increasing each year, athletes have experienced a greater amount of injuries. The most common injuries in football include: concussions, traumatic, overuse and heat-related injuries. Unfortunately, many football players sustain anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL) knee injuries. ACL injuries in football are common because of the force and motion used to tackle a player to the ground.

ACL Injuries in Football

Even though football players wear a significant amount of protective gear, this does not prevent ACL injuries. This type of injury often requires surgery, rehabilitation and rest. For players returning from an ACL tear, the road to recovery could be elongated and frustrating. Fortunately, physicians have been working with athletes recovering from ACL injuries to make this recovery easier. Here is the latest findings on this type of injury:

A Group of NFL football players were studied by Dr. Keller out of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit Michigan, and the findings were published in the December 2015 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors of the study found that 98 NFL – caliber athletes who had undergone primary ACL reconstruction and had participated in the NFL scouting combine between 2010 and 2014, were able to successfully complete drills that measured performance in the 40 yard dash, vertical leap, broad jump, shuffle drill, and three cone drill.

Dr. Keller concluded that high caliber athletes can achieve a high level of performance with no statistically significant differences compared with matched controls in reference to pro football drills.

For those returning to play from a traumatic knee injury, remember to have patience and continue to work hard. For those interested interested in the Super Bowl, have fun cheering on your favorite team and happy Super Bowl Sunday!