Ligament injuries becoming common
Confident you and your teenage athlete are both safe from suffering the knee injury that forced NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III off the game field and under the knife recently?
The Washington Redskins rookie tore two of the four primary ligaments, including his anterior cruciate ligament. ACL injuries have more than tripled since 2000, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and it doesn't take a hit from a behemoth defenseman to cause one. ACL injuries are the most common knee sprain and result more frequently from non-contact.
“It can happen in any sport that requires you to pivot, turn, twist or jump,” says Jim Thornton, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association. “It can even happen on a golf course on uneven terrain or if you're working in your yard.”
Learning how to protect the knee can eliminate the need for surgery and can help prevent lingering damage that can cause arthritis and lead to knee replacement. Knee replacement surgeries are soaring and expected to continue to rise as active baby boomers age.
Strengthening the core and hips helps, Thornton says, and proper warmups can prevent ACL tears.
Braces can support the ligaments on the outside and inside of knees but will not aid the ACL. That rope-like ligament is in the center of the knee and runs diagonally from the thigh bone to the shin bone.
If walking, jogging, cycling or swimming is your game, you can probably skip surgery, he says. But if you want to do anything other than move in a straight line, it's probably time to find a good surgeon. While the other knee ligaments might heal on their own, the ACL has poor blood circulation and is unlikely to do so.
Young female athletes are more at risk of damaging the ACL than males when they compete in similar sports, suggests research by the National Athletic Trainers' Association and the National Institutes of Health.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hungry bears push into Denver area
- California wildfires impede holiday fun
- Top Dem on panel says he’ll oppose Obama’s nuke deal
- Boeing names next space fleet
- Charter schools unconstitutional, Washington state’s top court rules
- Bidens remain unsure of readiness for campaign
- Exploration of sunken German U-boat shown online
- Video footage expected to aid in hunt for 3 sought in shooting of Illinois police officer
- Rock threatens base of Arizona dam
- Gay couple receives marriage license from controversial Ky. clerk’s office
- Kentucky county clerk Davis jailed for stand on same-sex marriage licenses