A Look at ACL Injury Prevention
Understanding ACL Injuries
The ACL is a tough band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone. It’s located in the middle of the knee. The ligament can become overstretched, partially torn, or completely torn. This can occur when a person suddenly stops, rapidly changes direction, incorrectly lands from a jump, or receives a direct collision. This is why ACL injuries are particularly common among athletes who play certain sports such as basketball.
Identifying Your Risk Factors
Any athlete who plays sports that involves these sudden moves could sustain an ACL injury. However, this injury could also occur in non-athletes. ACL tears are more common in women, those who have previously had an ACL injury, and those with a muscle strength imbalance in that part of the body.
Preventing ACL Injuries
If you’re at risk for an ACL tear, one of the most effective ways to prevent this injury is to always use the proper form and technique for your particular sport. Be particularly cautious when turning, jumping, and landing. Throughout these movements, keep your knees and hips bent, rather than straight. You might also consider working with a physical therapist at your community hospital. Physical therapists usually work with patients who are rehabilitating from injuries or coping with medical conditions, but they can also show athletes how to strengthen specific muscle groups. Strengthening the hamstrings and quadriceps is particularly helpful for preventing ACL injuries.
After a sports injury, the staff at the Rehabilitation Department at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center can help you get started on the road to recovery. Our orthopedics program is supported by both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. You can request a referral to a physician at our hospital in Thousand Oaks by calling a registered nurse at (877) 888-5746.