Article Featured on BetterBraces
Soccer, basketball and football athletes most often experience ACL injuries, with nearly 200,000 cases seen each year. While this injury is more frequently seen in women than men, reasons for which include differences in muscular strength, physical conditioning and neuromuscular control, the cause, pain and treatment is the same.
Learn about ACL injuries and become a more educated athlete so you know when to seek medical attention and can return to your sport as soon as possible.
WHAT IS IT?
ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament; this ligament runs diagonally across in the middle of your knee and has a number of duties: “It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, as well as provides rotational stability to the knee,” according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
When the ACL is injured, the surrounding ligaments and cartilage are often sprained as well. While the ACL could tear only partially, this is rare; more commonly there is a near complete or complete tear.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN? WHAT CAUSES IT?
This injury is most common in athletes who play football, basketball and soccer for a reason-ACL tears happen as a result of rapid direction changes, improperly landing from a jump, stopping suddenly, and direct collision with another player, all of which are common aspects of these three sports.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
When the tear happens you may hear a popping noise and/or feel your knee give out from under you. Within 24 hours you’ll begin to feel severe pain and swelling in your knee and aching or tenderness in the joint.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
A medical professional may be able to determine the severity of your injury with a physical exam; in some cases you need an X-ray or MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Once diagnosed, patients will almost always have to receive surgery. For older athletes, or those who are relatively inactive, a brace and physical therapy may be enough to heal the injury.
In almost every other case, however, a minimally invasive surgery is required to reconstruct the ligament. Post-surgery recovery time varies from one athlete to the next, but most people are able to return to their sport within six to nine months, according to Health.UCSD.edu.
ACL injuries are very common, and almost always result in a complete tear of the ligament. Work to prevent this injury by keeping your lower body strong with jump squats, lunges and landing practice.
Unfortunately, even a strong lower body can’t prevent an ACL tear. Knowing the symptoms ensures you can seek medical attention immediately, and ultimately results in a quick return to your sport.
The reality is that there is no quick fix to an ACL injury, however there is a solution to ease pain and speed up recovery: wearing an ACL brace.
With the right brace, the ACL will have the support it’s needed to take pressure off of it while you are rehabbing it back to health. Bracing stabilizes the knee while in motion and helps protect the knee during everyday life and sport. It also keeps you confidence up, knowing that you can return to your activity, at the skill level pre-injury, with the right protection. And with the latest technology, braces today are not bulky, letting you focus on your sport without any heavy equipment or fuss.
Your doctor might suggest this type of treatment if you’ve had an injury or illness that makes it hard to do daily tasks. Physical therapy (PT) is care that aims to ease pain and help you function, move, and live better. You may need it to:
- Relieve pain
- Improve movement or ability
- Prevent or recover from a sports injury
- Prevent disability or surgery
- Rehab after a stroke, accident, injury, or surgery
- Work on balance to prevent a slip or fall
- Manage a chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis
- Recover after you give birth
- Control your bowels or bladder
- Adapt to an artificial limb
- Learn to use assistive devices like a walker or cane
- Get a splint or brace
People of all ages get physical therapy. It can treat a variety of health problems.
What Is a Physical Therapist?
These licensed health professionals get specific graduate training in physical therapy. You may hear them called PTs or physiotherapists.
What Does a PT Do?
At your first therapy session, your PT will examine and assess your needs. He’ll ask you questions about your pain or other symptoms, your ability to move or do everyday tasks, how well you sleep, and your medical history.
- How well you can move around, reach, bend, or grasp
- How well you walk or climb steps
- Your heartbeat or rhythm while active
- Your posture or balance
Then, they will work with you to create a treatment plan. It will include your personal goals like functioning and feeling better, plus exercises or other treatments to help you reach them.
You may take less or more time to reach those goals than other people in physical therapy. Everyone is different. You may also have more or fewer sessions than others. It just depends on your needs.
You treatments might include:
- Exercises or stretches guided by your therapist
- Massage, heat, or cold therapy, warm water therapy, or ultrasound to ease muscle pain or spasms
- Rehab to help you learn to use an artificial limb
- Practice with gadgets that help you move or stay balanced, like a cane or walker
Your therapist will watch your progress and adjust your treatments as necessary.
You can do the exercises your therapist teaches you at home between sessions. This will help you stay on track and improve your fitness.
New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopaedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopaedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopaedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.
Article Found on WebMD | By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Activity levels may decline over time, but a new study found that those who had the knee operation could usually still play sports 10 years later.
“An active patient may view an ACL injury as devastating, but our research adds to short- and long-term studies that show a good prognosis for return to pre-injury quality of life,” said the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Kurt Spindler. Read more
Article Found on News-Medical.net
You might think stem cells only exist inside a fetus, but your adult body has a stockpile of stem cells, armed and ready to respond. These remarkable cells can develop into any other type of cell, like muscle or bone or nerve cells.
Researchers know heart attacks and strokes summon these cells. They flock to your heart or brain from all over your body to help you stay alive.
But, scientists did not realize other injuries, like a torn ACL of the knee, could command the army of stem cells to deploy. Read more
Article Found on MedLinePlus.gov
As kids play sports like soccer and football with more frequency and force, many are damaging their knees, a new study finds.
A common knee injury — an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear — has steadily increased among 6- to 18-year-olds in the United States, rising more than 2 percent a year over the last two decades, researchers report.
These injuries peak in high school, said lead researcher Dr. Nicholas Beck.
Girls have a higher rate of ACL injuries, added Beck, an orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Minnesota.
Sports that involve cutting or pivoting — such as soccer and basketball — are the riskiest for ACL tears. And contact sports like football can further increase the risk. But ACL tears can occur in tennis and volleyball, too, the researchers noted.
Study co-author Dr. Marc Tompkins said the researchers didn’t look at why ACL tears are on the rise.
But, he said, “one potential cause is the year-round sports specialization that is occurring in kids at an earlier age.” Tompkins is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota.
Instead of getting cross-training from multiple sports and therefore using different muscle groups, this means the kids do the same thing over and over. This can lead to fatigue and an increased potential for injury, including ACL injury, Tompkins explained.
“Another potential cause is that children as athletes play with more intensity and force than 20 years ago, which may put the body at increased risk of injury,” he added.
More girls are playing sports, which could affect injury rates, the study authors said. And it’s also possible that rates are up “because we are getting better as a medical community at diagnosing ACL injury,” Tompkins suggested.
Beck hopes this study will increase awareness of ACL tears in young athletes and promote interest in prevention programs or developing athletic participation guidelines.
The anterior cruciate ligament sits in the center of the front of the knee. It’s one of the ligaments that holds the knee bones together. When it tears, the ligament splits into two, causing knee instability, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
When a tear occurs, you might hear a popping sound and your knee may give out from under you. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment can range from physical therapy to surgery.
“ACL injuries are serious in the short term because they generally require six months’ to a year’s worth of hard recovery work before going back to sports. And even then it often takes longer to get back to pre-injury function,” Tompkins said.
“ACL injuries are serious in the long term, too, because we know that even if they recover well with or without surgery, the risk of developing arthritis in the injured knee is higher than before the injury,” he added.
Dr. Stephen Swirsky is an orthopedic surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. He said one of the best ways to reduce injuries is to teach good running techniques, which will improve function and agility.
“We have developed an injury prevention program, and we try to reduce the rates of ACL injuries,” Swirsky said.
“In addition, kids need to be on a flexibility and stretching program,” he advised. “The more flexible they are, the less likely they are to have an injury.”
When ACL tears do happen, Swirsky said, he recommends a comprehensive rehab program after surgery. This is accompanied by advice for reducing the risk of injury when young patients return to play.
To study the trends in ACL tears among U.S. children and teens, the study authors used insurance billing data for patients aged 6 to 18 from 1994 to 2013.
The researchers found that girls of all ages experienced a significant increase in the incidence of ACL tears over 20 years. In boys, however, only those aged 15 to 16 showed such an increase.
The report was published online Feb. 22 in the journal Pediatrics.
SOURCES: Nicholas Beck, M.D., resident, department of orthopaedic surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Marc Tompkins, M.D., assistant professor, department of orthopaedic surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Stephen Swirsky, D.O., orthopedic surgeon, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami; Feb. 22, 2017, Pediatrics, online
New Mexico Orthopaedics is a multi-disciplinary orthopedic clinic located in Albuquerque New Mexico. We have multiple physical therapy clinics located throughout the Albuquerque metro area.
New Mexico Orthopaedics offers a full spectrum of services related to orthopedic care and our expertise ranges from acute conditions such as sports injuries and fractures to prolonged, chronic care diagnoses, including total joint replacement and spinal disorders.
Because our team of highly-trained physicians specialize in various aspects of the musculoskeletal system, our practice has the capacity to treat any orthopedic condition, and offer related support services, such as physical therapy, WorkLink and much more.
If you need orthopedic care in Albuquerque New Mexico contact New Mexico Orthopaedics at 505-724-4300.
Article by Drexel University | Featured on ScienceDaily
It’s a dreaded and increasingly common diagnosis for young athletes. An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injury, and the taxing rehab process that comes with it, can quickly sideline a player.
Luckily, scientific research on preventing ACL injuries and osteoarthritis is progressing. The long-term implementation of preventive training programs — which include plyometrics (jump training), strengthening and other types of exercises to promote proper movement techniques — has been shown to reduce injuries and improve performance. Read more
Torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) facts
- The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four ligaments in the knee that provides stabilization for the knee joint.
- Torn ACLs are a common knee injury.
- An ACL tear or sprain occurs with a sudden change in direction or pivot against a locked knee.
- A pop, followed by pain and swelling of the knee are the most common symptoms of an ACL tear.
- Women are more likely to tear their ACL because of differences in anatomy and muscle function.
- Treatment goals are to return the patient to his or her preinjury level of function. Arthroscopic surgery may be required to reconstruct the torn ligament.
- It may take six to nine months to return to normal activity after an ACL injury.