Football Knee Injuries
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury is a common type of knee injury, particularly among athletes in sports such as soccer, basketball, and football. An ACL tear is the result of the sudden movement of the knee beyond its normal range of motion combined with overstretching the ligament to the point of rupture. Symptoms that may indicate an ACL injury include a popping sound at the time of the injury, swelling, pain, inability to bear weight on the injured leg, and an unstable feeling in the knee. The feeling of instability is most often due to a “giving way” of the knee when making sudden movements or sudden changes of direction.
Diagnosis of an ACL injury usually involves physical examination and imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment of an ACL tear depends on the severity of the injury and may include physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee, arthroscopic surgery to repair or reconstruct the damaged ligament, or some combination of both.
Proper treatment and rehabilitation are essential for a successful recovery and to reduce the risks of a repeat injury. Exercise and training that focus on agility, balance, coordination and strength should all be incorporated into a rehabilitation plan for an ACL injury.