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Are You at Risk for an ACL Injury? Atlanta, GA
man with knee pain

The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a major ligament in the knee. It is crucial for the stabilization of the knee joint. Your thigh bone and shinbone are connected by the ACL. It prevents the shin bone from moving forward past the thigh bone. Injuries to this ligament are among the most common in sports and other physical activities.

Risk Factors

Knowing the risk factors may help reduce your chances for injuries. There are several that can increase your risk:

  • Being female. Women and girls are at a higher risk than males. In fact, ACL tears are three times more common in female athletes. Differences in anatomy, hormones and biomechanics are theorized to be reasons for the increased risk.
  • Poor conditioning. Being out of shape causes an individual to be more vulnerable to injury.
  • High risk sports such as football, soccer, basketball, gymnastics and downhill skiing.
  • Ill-fitting footwear. If your shoes do not fit well for the activity, you risk getting injured.

Once you sustain an ACL injury, your chance of developing osteoarthritis in the knee increases. This can happen even if your ligament is reconstructed with surgery.

Lower the Risk with Prevention

Preventing ACL injuries requires proper training, exercise and an awareness of your gear. Exercise is key in balancing your leg muscle strength. Leg exercises, especially those that work the hamstring muscle, will help. Exercising your core muscles is also helpful. Look for exercises that strengthen the lower abdomen, pelvis and hips.

Landing wrong is one of the common sources of ACL injury. Learn to land properly when jumping. Get trained in techniques for landing and performing cutting and pivoting motions. Females need to take special precautions. Practicing proper techniques will help keep your knees healthy and injury-free.

Check your gear and make sure it fits properly and is in good repair. Downhill skiers should always check the bindings to ensure they are adjusted properly. If you fall, the bindings should release appropriately.

Padding and protective gear is important in competitive sports. Be aware that wearing a knee brace will not necessarily prevent an ACL injury; nor will it lower your risk if you have had surgery.

The professionals at Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians can advise you on exercises to help strengthen your knee joints. We are known for our compassionate, patient-centered care. Make an appointment for a consultation and keep your ACL in good health.

Posted on behalf of Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians

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Jules F.

Surgery was a success my left knee is fully functional again. Langer and his staff was very helpful through this entire process they assigned me a top physical therapist Cara which was great at helping me to improve now just up to me to continue to condition myself back to the way I was physically before the injury and hopefully I never have to endure any future injuries that lead to surgery. Overall a great help and experience after surgery was completed. Thank You to Langer and his staff.

Dea'Mario F.

The Morrow location was a great experience for me. The staff was nothing less than perfect to me. I'm glad I chose this location.

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Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians are excellent in the work they do. They take their time with each patient and make sure you walk away with an understanding of exactly what you're going through. I have been a patient here twice and I could 100% assure you that you will have a great experience. Further the physicians are very knowledgeable and experienced at what they do. Moreover, the entire staff are welcoming and accommodating to your needs. I work in Entertainment, and have appeared several times on television (Google "David Wells and Ricky Johnson). I recommend and trust Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians.

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The staff was great! They were patient, kind and courteous. The doctors were excellent! The doctors took the time to explain and patiently answer any questions I had.

North Charleston, SC

8720 North Park Blvd, Suite A

North Charleston, SC, 29406

FAX: (843) 872-0626