ACL tears are an athlete’s worst nightmare. Here is a quick guide to understanding what they are and how to deal with them:
What is an ACL Tear?
ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, a band of fibrous tissue that connects your femur and tibia at the knee joint. A tear is typically caused when an athlete makes a sudden twisting motion in the knee when they step or land on the foot. Symptoms include a popping sound, followed by the inability to put weight on the leg and swelling.
How Can I Prevent an ACL Tear?
An ACL tear is hard to predict, but warming up and stretching before working out and learning to land on the balls of your feet instead of landing flat-footed can help. Doing strength training exercises to make the muscles around the knees firmer can also help prevent an ACL tear.
How is an ACL Tear Diagnosed?
There are a few ways to diagnose an ACL tear, but the most accurate way to detect a tear is with an MRI. A partial tear can be detected by arthroscopy, which is when a surgeon makes an incision and uses a tiny lens to view the ACL.
How is an ACL Tear Treated?
If you tear your ACL, you will need surgery to repair it. Afterward, you will undergo physical therapy, which can usually take from six months to a year.
When you need an MRI to diagnose an ACL tear, come to North Dover Radiology for advanced medical imaging in Toms River, NJ. Call us at 732-370-9902 to schedule an appointment or book online.
Being an athlete is not easy. Playing a sport takes a lot of dedication, and can often result in injuries, especially knee injuries. If you are training for a sport, use these five tips to prevent a serious knee injury from taking you out of the game:
Stretching – Both static and dynamic stretches are crucial to preventing injuries while working out. Stretching improves the mobility of your joints, which goes a long way toward preventing injury. Be sure to stretch your ankles and hips as well as your knees.
Warm Up – Jumping into an activity “cold” is never a good idea, and can leave you vulnerable to injury. Your workout should slowly raise your body temperature, so start your training with calisthenics and some light jogging. Getting your blood flowing and warming up your muscles will ensure that you can move more freely and prevent injury.
Cool Down – Stopping a workout immediately can cause your joints to stiffen up and become inflamed. After you are done training, take a slow lap or two to bring your body temperature back down slowly.
Flexibility – When something doesn’t flex, it breaks. Maintaining the flexibility of your hips, ankles, and knees is crucial to preventing knee injuries. Even on days when you are not training, doing some stretching and flexibility exercises, like yoga, can go a long way towards keeping you in optimal shape and preventing injury.
Overtraining – Overuse injuries are no fun, so listen to your body. If you experience pain after exercise that is more than the typical muscle soreness, switch it up and try a new activity that targets a different area of the body.
Have you suffered a knee injury? Visit North Dover Radiology for an open MRI in Toms River. Call us today at 732-370-9902 to schedule an appointment or book online.