ACL Injury – What’s the Big Deal?
According to the Mayo Clinic, an ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate (KROO-she-ate) ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in your knee. The treatment and recovery of an ACL tear often includes surgery and rigorous rehabilitation, and can have lifelong impacts.
ACL injuries most commonly occur during activities that involve sudden stops or changes in direction (jumping/landing).
Some things predisposition athletes to higher risks of ACL injury:
- For girls ages 11-16: Pelvic tilt changing in girls along with changes in weight
- Over-training (soccer players, two-sport athletes in same season, no rest days)
- Quads muscles (front of the legs) being more developed than the hamstrings (back of legs)
- Knees knocking or collapsing inward – upon impact (or one knee knocking) – this can be easily tested and detected
- Aggressive athletes who have all of the above issues are the most at risk
What Can You Do?
Start with some of the basics and learn the best preventative exercises. Your child can do these at home, in practice, etc.
Make prevention a part of the routine. You can find videos like this one that outline exercises to do a few days each week.
Understand more about the options for surgery and rehabilitation if an injury happens. Mo discusses those and how the injury affected her physically and mentally, and why she is do determined to help young athletes avoid this kind of severe sports injury.
Get a more thorough understanding and learn specific exercises and target areas (and see that most of these require little to no equipment). The following manual has charts and plans for preventative training.
I had to mentally get over the fear of it happening again. – Mo
Communicate with your child’s coaches and school athletic staff about the value you place on ACL injury prevention. Share this blog and these resources with them.
At Mo’ Motion we focus on prevention – and work with our players to build strength, endurance, balance, and basketball IQ. This includes a thorough understanding of how to train at the highest level. If you have questions about how to help your athlete do this, please reach out to Mo!