ACL Injury in Teen-Aged Athlets

ACL Injuries in Teen Aged Athlets

The anterior cruciate ligament in the knee is prone to injury in people who play sports. Teen-aged girls are especially prone to ACL injuries because the growth of their neuromuscular system does not always match pace with the increased growth throughout the rest of the body.

The difference between growth in the body and growth in the neuromuscular system causes subtle changes in the gait, and the way body moves. These natural changes leave the athlete more prone to injuries of the leg, knee and hip, but especially ACL injury.

Leg Dominance is a common problem when the muscles in the legs grow faster than the ligaments in the knees. When this happens ACL injury occurs because the ligaments are unable to absorb and support the level of shock produced by the legs.

Quadriceps Dominance occurs when there is an imbalance between the quadriceps muscle and the hamstring muscle. This imbalance tends to cause the athlete to bend the knees to far and put undue pressure on the ACL.

Ligament Dominance is when the athlete absorbs most of the shock of running, jumping, turning and other high impact actives with the ligaments in the knee, instead of with the muscles of the lower leg. Oftentimes, it’s the ACL which absorbs this impact, and that leads to injury.

Landing with the knees fully extended also contributes to injury. When an athlete lands with an improper bend in the knees the tibia is pushed forward by the contractions in the quadriceps. This pressure on the tibia contributes to ligament damage in the knee.

We offer comprehensive training that teaches the teen-aged athlete how to avoid injury to the ACL. Our training uses Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) to identify the risk factors that typically lead to ACL injury. Then, we use force plate technology, and pressure gait analysis to understand, and teach the athlete how to avoid future damage to the ACL.

Once an injury has occurred, appropriate treatment is vital to recovery. NYDN Rehab offers effective screening for ACL injury. We then use CAREN, to develop a solid recovery plan that retrains the foot, leg and athlete to prevent further injury.

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