ACL Tears: One Of Most Commonly Occurring Sports Injuries

Health & Wellness • N E W S L E T T E R • ACL Tears: One of the Most Commonly Occurring Sports Injuries

Do you ever experience instability or a feeling of your knee giving out on you? Have you had continual severe pain and instability of your kneewith weight bearing activities? Has your knee ever popped loudly during activity? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have suffered an ACL tear. The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, connects your femur (thigh bone) to your tibia (shin bone). This ligament is one of 4 ligaments responsible for stabilizing your knee joint during weight bearing activities. Most ACL injuries occur during sports and fitness activities that place added stress on the knee joint. Athletes who participate in high-demand (or high-contact) sports such as football, basketball and soccer are at a higher risk of experiencing an ACL tear due the stresses placed on the knee during participation in these sports. Most ACL injuries occur with a direct blow to the knee, such as a tackle during football; landing incorrectly after jumping, such as descending from a jump shot in basketball; and suddenly cutting and changing direction, such as pivoting with your foot firmly planted on the ground in soccer or basketball.

Risk Factors for ACL Injuries Females are 5 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than males. This is due to their broader pelvic structure, which results in their knees being more turned in toward the mid-line of the body. Female athletes also have a tendency to land from a jump with less bend in their knees, causing the knees to lock out. This increases stress on the knee joint as well as the ligaments supporting the joint. Females also have a tendency to have a greater strength imbalance between their quadriceps (muscles in the front of the thigh responsible for extending your knee) and their hamstrings (muscles in the back of the knee responsible for bending your knee). When the quadriceps are stronger than the hamstrings, the knees can hyperextend in weight- bearing positions, increasing the risk of an ACL injury. Management of ACL Injuries Conservative, non-operative treatment, such as physical therapy, is an option for ACL sprains. In an ACL sprain, the ligament is overstretched but is not completely torn. A stringent physical therapy

s t r eng t h en i ng and stabilization plan can also benefit those with partial ACL tears; athletes who participate in lower intensity sports, (those that do not involve running, jumping, and pivoting). Elderly patients or young adolescents who may not be strong candidates for surgery due to age-related healing complications will also benefit from a physical therapy strengthening and stabilization program. When cons e r vat i ve

necessary to get you back on the field, track or court. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, our hands- on physical therapists and athletic trainers have advanced training to ensure you’ll be able to return to your favorite sport following an ACL injury, whether or not surgical intervention is necessary. If you have had any of the previously mentioned symptoms and suspect an ACL injury, call our experts today and we’ll get you on the road to recovery.

treatment is not successful or when there is a complete tear of the ACL, surgical intervention is recommended to repair the damaged ligament. The standard surgical repair involves a graft of the patellar tendon located in the front of the kneecap, which has been proven to be the strongest, most effective ACL reconstruction method for long-term results. Following ACL repair surgery, extensive physical therapy is necessary for regaining range of motion and strength in the muscles surrounding the knee joint. Additional functional return-to-sport training will be

By Kate Zanoni, PTA

What is our purpose? What is our purpose? At LSTC we are always striving to make improvements, adding staff, starting new programs, and even making more information available to our patients and the community. But one thing hasn’t changed and it never will: our strong purpose in helping others. Mike and I have always put patient care first and we continue this by only hiring teammemberswho have this same purpose. Ensuring that you get the care you need is of utmost importance to us here at LSTC. We strive daily to make improvements in our care, our services, and even our training.

your care with us. At the end of the day, I can say with certainty that each and every patient is extremely important to us. Helping youmeet your goals and providing a welcoming environment for your care should be the norm at all provider’s offices. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Please know, that nomatter what other changes may occur here at LSTC, we will ensure that you get the care you need and deserve. Wishing you well today and always, Dee

Our front office members work to make you feel welcome and answer your questions so you start off on the right track. We not only offer a highly skilled clinical team, but they were each hired for their strong interest in helping others; their desire to give back. Several years ago we developed a patient rep position, which Sarah currently holds. The patient rep’s main purpose is to make sure that you are happy with the care that you are receiving, that our clinicians are working with you toward your goals, and that you stay informed about LSTC’s offerings even after you’ve finished

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