Anterior Cruciate Ligament, often referred to as ACL injuries, are the most common knee injuries athletes suffer. While an extremely active individual could possibly suffer this type of injury, an ACL tear is most common in athletes. This is because of the stop and start movements associated with sports such as football, basketball, hockey and more. The anterior cruciate ligament is on the inside of the knee joint and supports the shin bone. The ligament, knee, and shin work together to prevent the tibia from sliding out in front of the thigh bone.
When Do ACL Injuries Occur?
An ACL injury is most likely to occur if an athlete is hit hard on the side of their knee. The sudden force overextends the knee joint. This same pressure is recreated by stopping and changing directions during a run or jump which also causes ACL injuries. A “popping” noise is heard as a result of ACL injuries quickly followed by pain and swelling.
ACL injuries are becoming more common among individual athletes for quite a few reasons including: increased level of competition, specialization in one single sport, and failing to take precautions against this injury. You can never prepare your mind for this type of injury or the amount of recovery and rehabilitation time is needed to overcome an ACL injury, but you can definitely prepare your body. Dr. Stacie Grossfeld at Orthopaedic Specialists wants to educate her clients on ACL injuries with some important information.
Important Information About ACL Injuries:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that girls are 8 times more likely to suffer ACL injuries over boys because of the increased pelvic angles that put more stress on the knees.
- While many people think that ACL injuries most often occur in contact sports, about 70 percent of ACL injuries actually occur during non-contact sports.
- Half of people who suffer an ACL injury will develop osteoarthritis later in life.
- Sports like football, soccer, and basketball show a higher risk of ACL injury than most other sports due to the high amount of running and direction changing that occurs during these sports.
- It is best to treat the symptoms of an ACL injury with rest, ice, and elevation. Always consult a physician before returning to sports following a knee injury.
- Many famous athletes have recovered fully from ACL injuries and surgery like Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson, American soccer player, Olympic medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Alex Morgan, and Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova.
- There are ways to prevent ACL injuries with strength, proprioception, and biofeedback training. Warming up for these exercises is crucial and all exercises should be completed regularly to reduce risk of injury. This training and exercise can help improve your knee strength while also enhancing one’s athletic performance. It’s a win-win.
- Surgery is recommended most of the time that an ACL injury occurs. This could be the beginning of a difficult recovery, but it allows athletes and active individuals to return to their game or workout at a much faster turnaround rate than other treatments.
- ACL surgery has a recovery period of anywhere from six to eight weeks or longer. Recovery requires a lot of rest, ice, and even physical therapy. It is best to begin recovery as soon as possible.
If You Have An ACL Injury
All of this information is important when it comes to ACL injuries. With this type of injury it is best to begin with prevention and then focus on recovering from injury if it arises.
If you have sustained an ACL injury, you must mentally and physically prepare yourself for the long road to recovery ahead and work hard to regain your strength, mobility, and eventually your game. If you have any questions about ACL injuries or surgery, call Dr. Grossfeld’s office at 502-212-2663 for more information.