ACL Injuries and Prevention

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the four main stabilizing ligaments of the knee. The ACL prevents excessive translation of the tibia and the femur. Injuries to the ACL can affect teenage athletes, collegiate athletes, weekend warriors playing in alumni soccer or basketball games as well as professional athletes as we recently saw Odell Beckham tear his ACL in the Super Bowl. ACL injuries are typically season-ending and take 6-12 months of rehab prior to returning to sport.

Many ACL injuries are non-contact as a result of poor mechanics when cutting, landing, or planting the foot. As a coach, parent, or player, there are several indicators that can predispose an athlete of an ACL injury:

  • Valgus tendency (knee goes inward) with jumping/landing/cutting
  • Flat feet
  • Hip weakness

Fortunately, there are preventative measures that can be taken if any of these factors are present. An evaluation by a Physical Therapist can identify any of these risk factors and a proper preventative program can be designed specifically for your athlete. Please visit our locations page to find a clinic near you!

Author, Dr. Wade Fligge PT, DPT, OCS from our Watertown, SD location.