Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
What is this ACL injury everyone keeps talking about?
An ACL tear, one of the most prevalent career threatening injuries in sports. Even though there are some reconstruction surgeries available, less than half of those with an ACL tear return to competitive sports. A typical mechanism of this injury occurs with a combination of a slightly flexed (bent) knee, valgus (inward) collapse, and an excessive external rotation of the knee (see picture above). Another typical mechanism is receiving a blow to the outside of a planted knee, which we see in football.
While some ACL injuries occur during contact, the majority actually occur during non-contact or indirect contact periods in sports such as landing from a jump, quickly decelerating, or cutting/pivoting over a single limb. The non-contact portion of this injury makes every athlete in every sport susceptible to this type of injury.
However, there is good news! Since ACL tears are mostly a non-contact injury, it is possible to implement injury prevention training programs that make the body more resistant to them.
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