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Protect Your ACL While Playing Fall Sports (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Nothing can ruin an athlete’s season quite like an ACL tear. A new infographic from HMG Sports Medicine provides some key insights to help high school, college, and professional athletes prevent and recover from these injuries…

What is an ACL tear?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four main ligaments in the knee. The ligament runs diagonally in the middle of the knee, providing front-to-back and rotational stability. The ACL allows the knee to twist, pivot, and jump.

Who’s at risk for a torn ACL?

Athletes most at risk include those who participate in:

Young female athletes are two to eight times more likely to tear their ACL.

    • 70% of ACL tears occur during non-contact activities (such as cutting or landing).
    • 30% of ACL tears occur during player-to-player contact.

You may have torn your ACL if you…

    • Feel or hear a pop
    • Observe the knee swelling shortly after the injury
    • Have pain deep within your knee

How can you prevent an ACL injury?

Targeted prevention programs successfully reduce the rate of ACL tears by approximately 50 percent. Prevention programs include:

    • Balance training
    • Core, hip and hamstring strengthening
    • Practicing proper landing techniques

Learning how to properly land a jump may reduce risk of ACL injury. In executing a proper landing, keep hips and knees bent. Do not let the knees collapse inward (the “knock knee” position).

Learn more about ACL injury prevention.

How are ACL tears treated?

If you do injure your ACL, treatment is possible. ACL tears may be treated with physical therapy, which helps regain knee motion and strength, or surgery, which reconstructs the ACL. Learn more about the ACL diagnosis and treatment process at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.

See a Houston Orthopedic Surgeon for an ACL Tear

For for more information about your ACL treatment options in Houston, contact Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546. Want to keep learning? Read “10 Facts About ACL Injuries.”

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