Preventing and Treating an ACL Tear in Athletes

ACL tear female soccer player
Female athletes, particularly soccer players, are more likely to get an ACL tear.

If you follow sports, you’re probably familiar with the dreaded ACL tear. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is a key ligament for knee stability. Athletes with a torn ACL will be out for the rest of the season. In fact, it might be six months before they can return to play, says orthopedic surgeon Mark Miller, MD.

That’s because the ACL won’t heal itself, so surgeons must reconstruct it using a tendon graft. Patients then need physical therapy to recover from surgery.

Female athletes are more at risk for this injury, particularly soccer and basketball players. “They land with their knees, more knock-kneed and straight rather than absorbing the jump as they land,” Miller explains.

In this week’s podcast, Miller discusses:

  • How athletes can prevent an ACL tear
  • What to do if you think you’ve torn your ACL
  • What happens after surgery

Listen to the podcast:

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