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How to Prevent ACL Injuries (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO

Treatment for ACL Tears in Houston

ACL tears are some of the most common sports injuries we see at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Approximately 200,000 of these injuries occur every year, primarily among people participating in sports that require quick changes in direction (football, basketball, tennis and soccer, for instance).

Several months ago we shared a post on the blog covering how ACL injuries are diagnosed and treated by your Houston sports medicine physician. Today, let’s go back a step and look at how to prevent these injuries. (Check out the Mayo Clinic’s full ACL injury prevention infographic below.)

Know Your Risk for ACL Tears

  • Seven out of 10 ACL tears occur when there is a sudden change in momentum while a foot is planted. (Only three in 10 are caused by contact.)
  • High school girls are two to 10 times more likely to suffer ACL injuries than boys.

Prevent ACL Tears by Knowing How to Land a Jump

One of the best ways to prevent an ACL tear is to learn how to properly land on your feet:

  • Land softly on both feet.
  • Don’t allow the knees to come together; keep the legs spaced shoulder width apart.
  • Keep the trunk of the body within the boundaries of the feet.
  • Land in an active/athletic position to absorb the impact.

Don’t land…

  • On one foot first
  • With your legs at different lengths
  • With uneven feet
  • With the body leaning out away from the feet
  • With the knees bent inwards
  • With the feet less than shoulder width apart
  • Rigidly upright

Other Ways You Can Prevent an ACL Tear

  • Develop an offseason exercise plan with your trainer with the goal of minimizing your risk for ACL injury. A six- to eight-week program with this focus may include plyometrics (“jump training”), hip control, leg and core strengthening exercises, and balance training.
  • Continue to get motion assessments throughout the season to ensure you are not modifying any behaviors that could put you at risk for an ACL injury.
  • Continue to follow your ACL injury prevention exercise plan.

See a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

To learn more about ACL injury prevention and treatment, schedule an appointment with a sports medicine physician in Houston 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.