Sports tend to come with a high risk of injury. ACL tears are prevalent with athletes, particularly in football players. While this type of injury is common in football, it can happen in just about any sport.
ACL or Anterior Cruciate Ligament is a band of tissue found at the front of the knee joint. It connects the shinbone (tibia) to the thighbone (femur). The ACL offers stability and control of the knee and often becomes torn during heavy impact.
While ACL tears are a widespread injury, they come with plenty of misconceptions. Let’s look at a few of the myths about ACL tears.
6 Top Myths Associated with ACL Tears
1. Braces Prevent ACL Tears
Some athletes believe wearing a brace can help to keep an ACL tear from happening. While it could help to some extent, the truth is, if you wear a breach without surgery or rehab, it can weaken the knee. Your knee can become dependent upon the brace for support.
2. Blunt Force Trauma Causes All ACL Tear Injuries
This is simply not true. While blunt force trauma can cause an ACL tear injury, it is not the only potential cause. The most common cause of ACL injuries is a result of poor landing mechanics. When an athlete lands in an irregular position, it is more likely to cause an ACL tear than blunt force trauma.
3. It is Incredibly Painful
Some ACL injuries are excruciating, but they can also be relatively painless. Commonly, athletes will hear a popping sound when the ligament tears, and it will swell up, but they will not feel much pain. It is possible to suffer from an ACL tear and not feel excruciating pain, but it can be harrowing, primarily if cartilage damage occurs.
4. Recovery is Very Long
When an ACL injury happens, most athletes think it will take an eternity to recover fully. It will not be the shortest recovery time, but rehab may be as short as six months after surgery. It depends on the severity of the injury and the way your body responds.
Some patients will see some range of motion returning to the knee after about six weeks. However, recovering full strength can take several months which is the limiting factor in return to sports.
5. Only Athletes Suffer from ACL Tears
While ACL tears are a very common injury in sports, anyone can suffer an ACL tear. It can happen during everyday life to anybody.
6. Surgery is Necessary with All ACL Tears
Not all ACL injuries require surgery. It depends on the patient’s age, the patience they have for healing, and their activity level. A younger person playing sports will likely need surgery, but someone that does not want surgery can still recover.
The right physical therapy can restore strength and stability, but ACL Reconstruction Surgery is common with most ACL injuries.
Several misconceptions are out there about ACL tears. Make sure; if you become injured, you seek medical attention from a trained sports medicine doctor. Your doctor will help to ensure you understand what to expect with your specific ACL injury.