School is back in session and soccer and football are in full swing. It is a common occurrence to see a player make an athletic cut and suddenly he or she feels a “pop” and falls to the ground, clutching their knee. The crowd goes silent as the coach and Athletic Trainer rush out to the field and check on the player. What has happened is a common occurrence during athletic contests and recreational sports across the United States. The athlete has just sustained an anterior cruciate ligament or ACL tear, which is just the beginning of a long road to recovery.
Unfortunately, this type of knee injury is extremely common among active people, in fact it’s estimated that 200,000 injuries are reported annually. The prevalence of injuries to the ACL is alarming because of the major role it plays in the stability and function of the knee and the long term effects it can have on a person's knee following an injury. The good news is that research has shown that ACL injury risk can be greatly reduced by identifying modifiable factors in those most at risk for injury. The aim of this post is to educate on what the ACL is, what it’s function is, how it is injured, can it be prevented and what role physical therapists can have in both prevention and recovery after injury.
What is the ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament of the knee?
2. How is the ACL injured or torn?
3. Can an ACL injury be prevented?
4. Who is at risk?
5. What role can a physical therapist play in the prevention and rehabilitation of ACL injuries?
Dan Dolphin DPT, ATC
Impact Physio is offering a FREE Workshop on ACL Tears on Wednesday, October 3 at 7:00 pm. It will cover the implications of an ACL tear, risk factors and strategies for prevention. The link to register for this workshop is:
Hewett, T. E., Myer, G. D., et al. Mechanisms, prediction, and prevention of ACL injuries: Cut risk with three sharpened and validated tools. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2016 34(11), 1843-1855. doi:10.1002/jor.23414
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