The Painful Impact of an ACL Injury

knee of injured football player

One of the most important parts of the body is the knee. It is also the body’s largest joint. The knee enables us to kick, run, and walk properly. It is important to take care of our knees so that we can move freely and go anywhere we want.

However, the knees are prone to injuries, especially among athletes. Those who play contact sports like basketball, football, and soccer can be at risk of having knee injuries. Such injuries can cause excruciating pain, which can affect an individual’s athletic performance.

This kind of knee injury is called ACL tear or sprain. In Orem, there is at least one knee surgeon who can treat this painful injury. Surgery may be needed depending on the severity of the knee injury.

What happens during an ACL injury?

ACL is short for anterior cruciate ligament, a major knee ligament. It helps on stabilizing the knee and prevents the shin bone from sliding forward when moving around. ACL injuries are common in sports that involve lots of running, jumping, and landing on your feet.

An ACL injury occurs when you feel that your knee has popped. It will lead to severe pain and swelling. You may even have a hard time standing up, so you will need support at this point. To summarize, symptoms to watch out for ACL injury include:

  • A popping sound or feeling in your knee
  • Intense pain following the popping sound or sensation
  • Swelling on the knee area
  • Instability and having a hard time standing up
  • Inability to move your knee around

In such cases, it is important to consult a doctor immediately. They will diagnose and identify the severity of the condition. At the same time, proper medication and treatment will be given. The doctor will also determine whether the injury requires surgery as part of treatment.

Who are at risk for ACL injuries?

Experts say that women are more at risk of having ACL injuries than men. This is due to different factors, such as:

  • Muscle strength
  • Body anatomy
  • Landing and jumping patterns
  • Genetics

This injury is also common among individuals between 15 and 45 years of age. Others who are at risk for ACL injuries include:

  • People who play contact sports frequently, such as basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, etc.
  • Lack of warming-up such as stretching prior to strenuous physical activities
  • Wearing ill-fitting footwear
  • Using sports equipment that is not maintained well

People who experienced ACL injuries are more at risk of having arthritis and osteoarthritis. Also, there can be an occurrence of a re-tear for those who have experienced ACL injuries before.

How can one prevent an ACL injury?

man suffering from an injury

Anyone can be at risk for ACL injuries. However, it can be avoided through exercise and proper training. Among programs that will be implemented to avoid such injury include the following:

  • Proper knee position, landing and jumping techniques
  • Core strengthening exercises
  • Leg and hamstring exercises
  • Other tips to avoid ACL injuries include:
  • Wearing footwear that fits well
  • Using knee pads during strenuous physical activities
  • Doing warm-up exercises prior to intense physical activities
  • Using well-maintained equipment

The knee is a crucial part of the body. It bears body weight and absorbs impact when doing physical activities. You should take care of your knees while you are still young.