The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a non-elastic fibrous band that connects the thigh bone to the leg, providing stability to the knee. In addition, the ACL prevents the shin bone and thigh bone from misaligning. Being such an important component of the human body, ACL is expected to be sturdy. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
According to studies, nearly 250,000 people in the United States tear their ACLs every year. Most of these ACL tears were sports-related. Although classified as a serious injury, ACL tears are no longer considered the career-ending injury it used to be because of advances in medical techniques and technology.
Adrian Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, is a prime example of how far orthopedics has come. Most athletes who have recovered from ACL tears needed at least a full year before regaining their pre-injury form. Peterson, on the other hand, needed only a few months and returned in time for the start of the 2012 season, eventually winning the MVP, and coming close to breaking the all-time single season rushing yards record.
However, people should not expect that Peterson’s recovery period is now the norm for ACL recovery. Different people recover at different ways and speeds (as evidenced by Derrick Rose’s return and Danilo Gallinari’s recovery). In fact, there are certain ACL tears that do not require reconstructive surgery to repair. For an accurate diagnosis and an effective recovery plan, consult an experienced orthopedic surgeon.