Preventing Re-Injury after an ACL Tear
Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears, more commonly known as ACL tears, are common sports injuries among Arizona athletes. This extremely painful condition happens when the system of ligaments in the knee are overused or are stretched too far out of the knee’s range of motion. After a physician diagnoses an ACL tear, they proceed to the appropriate treatment option to address pain, inflammation, and the tear itself. Our goal is to get the athlete back out on the field or court as soon as possible, so in order to stay in the game, follow these tips from our experts to avoid re-injury after ACL tear treatment.
The first step to avoiding tearing your ACL again is to listen to your orthopedic physician or physical therapist’s instructions. As you progress in the healing process, they will give you a recovery time. If you play before the treatment phase is finished, you greatly increase your risk of injury. Whether this means staying in a knee brace, continuing to do physical therapy exercises at home, or staying off of the knee, the treatment phase is crucial to avoiding re-injury.
Patients could also do knee strengthening exercises to build knee strength. According to The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 63 percent of athletes return to a pre-injury functioning level. This means that some patients may not return to the fitness level or ability they had before their ACL tear. Our patients train hard to get to where they are in their training regime, so in order to stay members of the 63 percent who return to pre-injury functioning, our physicians advise building up knee strength. The physical therapy team at OrthoArizona can help come up with a great knee strengthening exercise plan post-operatively. Using resistance bands and doing lunges are just a few good exercises to do in the rehabilitation phase of your ACL tear recovery.
However, exercise and rest are not enough to prevent tearing your ACL again. Often, an ACL tear is caused when an athlete puts too much force on the knee or jumps and lands in an awkward position. Our sports medicine specialists suggest incorporating control and balance exercises during rehabilitation, warm-ups before the big game, or training. One way to do this is through jumping exercises. By jumping rope or in place, the athlete can control how he or she lands and can work on properly bending the knees to absorb shock. Balance exercises are also great techniques that can help athletes avoid falls that can lead to an ACL tear during the game.
Speak with a Foot & Ankle Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent sprain, strain, or possible tendon injury? Make an appointment with one of our Foot & Ankle Specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational, medical material.