A tear that happens while moving

August 23, 2015


Thems the Breaks

A tear that happens while moving…

Jordy Nelson will not be alone if it’s confirmed that his ACL is likely torn. Multiple other famous NFL players have torn their ACLS and lived to tell the tale. A few examples include: Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, and Rob Gronkowski. They all were able to rebuild their careers after an extensive rehab. So what is this pesky ACL and why does it cause so many problems for athletes?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is famous because it stabilizes the knee. It is especially important in pivot movements of the knee, but that is also how it is likely to get torn. This injury is more common in athletes that pivot a lot – think football, basketball, soccer…It is also more common in female athletes – remember Lindsey Vonn? Once the ligament is torn there is excessive motion at the knee, and it needs to be repaired surgically. An average person can live and do well without the surgery, but high-performance athletes should not. The tear can lead to premature arthritis, so is usually fixed in young people.

Once the ACL is repaired surgically, it takes about 6 months or more of intensive rehabilitation to regain the strength in and around the knee specifically the thigh muscles hence the season-ending thing. I hope Jordy Nelson does not have an ACL injury but if he does I wish him a speedy recovery!