The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments in the knee and the most common ligament that gets injured. Sudden changes of direction or landing in a certain way can cause a tear in the ACL. If the ligament is completely torn, it will not heal. These injuries are most common in sports such as basketball, football and soccer. Research suggests that athletes participating in contact sports are 10 times more likely to have a serious knee injury than in non-contact sports like golf or swimming. Although soccer has a low rate of injuries compared to other youth sports, the ankle and knee are the most often injured body parts in youth soccer. (SOURCE: www.soccerhelp.com)
Injuries On The Rise:
According to 2004 data provided by Brown University Biology and Medicine, knee ligament injuries have increased by 172 percent. Factors that contribute to ACL injuries include ground hardness, grass type and cleat type. (SOURCE: www.kneeinjury.pacificaorthopedics.org)
Women At Higher Risk For Injury?
It's estimated that more than 1.4 million women will tear an ACL every year. Furthermore, each year one in every 10 collegiate female athletes and one in every 100 high school female athletes will have a serious knee injury. Some statistics support that female soccer players are eight times more likely to injure their ACL than a male soccer player. Researchers also believe this may be due to differences in hormone levels, neuromuscular control, lower limb biomechanics, ligament strength and fatigue. In fact, female ACL injuries are so widespread that both high school and collegiate coaches expect at least one player to be sidelined by an ACL injury every season. (SOURCE: http://sportsmedicine.about.com)
Nearly all ACL injuries in children are first treated with physical therapy and rehabilitation. Research shows though, that nearly $30 million a year would be saved in hospital charges if early rather than delayed ACL reconstruction surgery was performed. The goal of ACL knee surgery is to stabilize the knee allowing patients get back to a healthy, active lifestyle. (SOURCE: www.sciencedaily.com)
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