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ACL Injuries In Football (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Football season in Houston is just around the corner with summer drawing to a close and pre-season practices getting underway. As we prepare for another season, Better Braces reminds us to stay safe with this infographic about ACL injuries, one of the most common injuries among high school football players.

Take a moment to browse the infographic below, and be sure to share this post with any high school football players in your family! Have questions? Contact your Houston sports medicine doctor at (713) 756-5546. (Also, you can learn more here about ACL Injury: Diagnosis & Treatment In Houston, TX.)

What Occurs In an ACL Tear

  • Knee will lack support for controlled movement
  • In most cases, the bones will rub up against one another
  • Deficiency occurs, contributing to articular cartilage damage or meniscus tears.

To Speed Up Recovery Time…

It’s critical that athletes get proper rest and treatment. Athletes should take precaution, which may include wearing a supportive brace to prevent further injury once the sports medicine physician issues a return-to-play clearance.

What Is the ACL?

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of four main ligaments in the knee; it is the primary stabilizer. The ACL joins the upper leg bone to the lower leg bone, stabilizing for rotational movement, sliding or twisting out of place.

ACL Fast Facts

  • 60-80% of ACL injuries result from non-contact
  • Approximately 90% of injured athletes return to sports (though not necessarily the level of play prior to injury)
  • Common causes of ACL injuries include: landing wrong from a jump or tackle, sudden stopping, change of direction, pivoting while foot is planted on ground, and sustaining a side hit on a planted leg.
  • Linemen are 25% more prone to ACL injuries and 13% more prone to reinjure the ACL.

How Do You Know If It’s an ACL Injury?

Signs that a knee injury may be an ACL injury could include:

  • Hearing a distinct “popping” sound in the knee
  • Feeling the knee slide or go out of place
  • Significant swelling within 24 hours following the injury

Only a physician can diagnose an ACL injury. This is often done with an MRI and/or other diagnostic imaging scans.

How Do You Treat an ACL Injury?

Treatment typically consists of RICE, reconstruction (in some cases), rehab, and the use of a stabilizing knee brace.

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

  • A typical recovery period is 6-12 months.
  • It can take 18 months to get back to pre-injury skill level.
  • There is a greater chance of re-injury if you return to play within six months of the initial injury.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.