Athletes’ Bane: Fast Facts about ACL Tears

Of all the orthopedic injuries that athletes experience, one is particularly feared: ACL.  Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL is a debilitating injury that occurs when too much sudden movement stretches or tears the tissues connecting the knee to the rest of your leg.

Many fitness experts and sports professionals claim that one of the main causes of ACL tears is the lack of or insufficient warmups before a rigorous bout of workout. Strength training can help one prevent this from happening, as the workout is intended to make the muscles firmer by with rigorous activities. Also, learning to land on the balls of your feet can help take some downward force away from your knees.

You know that you have a torn ACL when your legs suddenly buckle (after hearing a distinct popping sound from your knees) and swelling develops almost rapidly, and last for weeks. The popping sound may not always come, but your knees will give out. While the pain might subside afterward, returning to sports or heavy physical activity might cause the injury to get worse.

Consult with your doctor immediately after the first signs of an ACL injury. Treatment typically involves  physical therapy sessions over a period of six to twelve months, depending on the extent of damage.

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