ACL INJURIES In Young Athletes
An ACL injury is the tearing of the anterior cruciate (pronounced KROOshe-ate) ligament, inside your knee joint. An ACL injury most commonly occurs during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction-such as basketball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.
There has been a 400% increase in incidences of pediatric ACL Ruptures. This is mainly due to high school and younger athletes participating in year round sports, improved diagnostic procedures, and more sports specialization. Sports at younger ages, and increasing hours of organized ACL Injuries in Young Athletes athletic exposure. This is a serious health concern for our young athletes.
People who experience an ACL injury are at higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, in which joint cartilage deteriorates and its smooth surface roughens. Arthritis may occur even if you have surgery to reconstruct the ligament.
Research has shown that young athletes that have previous ankle sprains, Knee laxity, and/or decreased leg flexibility have an increased chance of rupturing their ACL’s. To prevent future injury of the knee including ACL ruptures it is important for the young athlete to be referred to physical therapy for proper evaluation therapy for the proper evaluation. The therapist will check the flexibility of the ankle. Knee. Hip and spine. They will also evaluate the strength of the muscles that provide stability to the knee, and also check proprioception, or balance training. Has been found to reduce the risk of noncontact ACL injury by 86% physical therapy assessment and treatment will address the established risk factors and work toward reducing the chance of more serious injury in the future.