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How to Treat a Torn ACL

Tearing your ACL is one of the most common, and devastating, sports injuries. The good news is you can rebound from it!

Tearing Your ACL - The 411 on ACL's

The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, is a ligament that connects the tibia to the femur. In other words, it's a ligament in your knee! Tearing an ACL is an injury common to athletes who participate in sports like basketball, soccer, football and skiing. Many times this injury occurs without any contact with another athlete. A sudden change in direction is usually the cause of an ACL tear. Most tears are completely random, happening at a time when you're doing a move you've done 100 times before.

When an athlete tears their ACL, their knee swells up almost immediately and they feel a sharp pain. Other times an athlete will hear a "pop". Female athletes are six times more likely to tear their ACL than their male counterparts. Statistics show that one out of every 10 NCAA women athletes will tear their ACL sometime in their college career.

Tearing Your ACL - What to do Next

The first step after tearing your ACL is getting your pain under control. This includes resting and icing the knee. Once the swelling and pain go down, you need to get your motion back. This means being able to bend your knee again. This can be accomplished with physical therapy or light gym workouts. If the tear is severe enough, you might need to have your ACL reconstructed in surgery. Regardless of how serious the tear is, you still have to get motion back in your knee before having surgery performed. Some people opt not to have surgery, but most athletes who plan on continuing to compete at their sport on a high level need to have their ACL reconstructed.

NBA players Baron Davis and Jamal Crawford have both had reconstructive surgery to replace their ACLs. They both have bounced back from the injury and have not lost any of their quickness or explosiveness. If anything, they are stronger because of the intense rehab process.

Tearing Your ACL - Preventing a Tear

Nearly 200,000 ACL injuries occur each year. It's hard to control an injury when you're competing so hard, but there are a few measures you can take to reduce the risk. For starters, make sure to take breaks from sports. If you are playing soccer 365 days a year, eventually your body is going to break down. Weight lifting also helps - any exercise that strengthens your knee or helps improve your flexibility can help reduce the risk of injury.

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  • 1 Comment

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    Injurypoll

    Worst Sports Injury You've Had?

    • Sprained an ankle.
    • Pulled a muscle.
    • Broke a bone.
    • Had a concussion.

    Sports In The Forums

    unicornsrule626
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote:I hate to be that person who pulls out the dictionary, buuuuut let's look at the definitions for sport (athleticism wise).competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionallyDoes cheerleading fit under this definition? Yes.pastime: an active pastime participated in for pleasure or exercise Oh look, cheerleading fits under this definition too.Being a cheerleader requires a certain amount of physical fitness. You need to be strong, flexible, and energetic, which are all things not everyone has.It is a form of exercise and entertainment.It is a sport.Is one variant more challenging than the other? Yes, but that does not devalue anything.Not everyone is going to be able to understand the difficulties cheerleaders go through, and that's perfectly fine. Every sport is dangerous, some are just more obvious than others. When people are good at what they do, they make things seem easy. very well said! I was a cheerleader for 2 years until  I aged out, but let ,e tell you, they were 2 of the best,sweaty and most fun years I have ever had
    reply about 6 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    I hate to be that person who pulls out the dictionary, buuuuut let's look at the definitions for sport (athleticism wise). competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally Does cheerleading fit under this definition? Yes. pastime: an active pastime participated in for pleasure or exercise  Oh look, cheerleading fits under this definition too. Being a cheerleader requires a certain amount of physical fitness. You need to be strong, flexible, and energetic, which are all things not everyone has. It is a form of exercise and entertainment. It is a sport. Is one variant more challenging than the other? Yes, but that does not devalue anything. Not everyone is going to be able to understand the difficulties cheerleaders go through, and that's perfectly fine. Every sport is dangerous, some are just more obvious than others. When people are good at what they do, they make things seem easy.
    reply about 6 hours
    angelover4
    CHEERLEADING IS LIKE DANCE GYMNASTICS MIXED TOGETHER WITH WORDS. AND DANCE AND GYMNASTICS ARE CONSIDERED SPORTS.
    reply about 8 hours
    angelover4
    I BELIVE ITS A SPORT JUST LIKE I THINK GYMNASTICS IS A SPORT.
    reply about 8 hours
    angelover4
    I BEL ITS A SPORT JUS TLIKE I THINK GYMNASTICS IS A SPORT.
    reply about 8 hours