Teens gain a lot from being part of a team. Through sports, they learn the value of dedication, hard work, and determination. They learn to work together toward a common goal. Their active lifestyles also keep them healthy and strong.
Unfortunately, competitive sports are not without risk. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains and tears are two of the most common injuries for young athletes. A 2017 study found that over the past twenty years, the rate of ACL tears among children and teens has been increasing by approximately 2.3% each year. ACL injuries occur following certain movements common in sports. Sometimes they also result from a collision or hard land from a jump. Often, sufferers will hear an audible ‘pop’ at the time of injury. If your child is suspected of having an ACL injury, his or her doctor may perform an examination known as the Lachman test and order imaging. Usually, an ACL injury can be diagnosed using an x-ray, although occasionally an MRI may be needed for a more detailed view of the injury site. ACL injuries are assessed based on their severity, with Grade 1 being the most minor and Grade 3 being the most serious.
Symptoms of ACL injuries include:
● pain or discomfort
● decreased range of motion
Sometimes, a minor ACL injury requires only conservative treatment and can resolve on its own with rest. Physical therapy can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Treatment costs for an ACL injury can jump as high as $17,000 – 25,000 – per injury! To make matters worse, osteoarthritis frequently follows an ACL tear or sprain. Recovery from an ACL injury can require time away from school and can even lower a student’s grade point average. Young people who suffer an ACL injury are also at high risk of suffering another ACL tear or sprain.
While ACL injuries can be painful or keep teens away from the sports they love, parents are often relieved to hear there are ways to prevent them. On October 22 at 6:30 pm, Breakthru Physical Therapy will present a free ACL Injury Prevention Workshop at Medford Fitness. If you have a child between the ages of 12 and 18 who plays football, basketball, soccer, or field hockey, we invite you to join us for this informative event. Don’t risk it: prevent ACL injuries before they happen. Our experts will explain how to ensure your teen has the lowest possible risk for injury while staying championship strong. Hope to see you there!