Dr. MANOJ KUMAR KHEMANI Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon

Book an Appointment

How to Prevent (And Treat) ACL Injury?

Admittedly, it’s not always possible to avoid ACL injuries. When you’re playing sports like basketball, soccer, and football, sudden movements might cause tears in Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which are usually unavoidable.

But then that said, this doesn’t mean taking preventive measures is worthless. When you take the necessary steps to prevent ACL injury, you do minimize the involved risk factors.

How do you do this?

Here are five tips:

1. Keep ligaments healthy

Get your diet correct. It is one of the best ways to prevent injuries.

Give your daily meals a hard look and ensure that it includes the right balance of all the important nutrients.

In specific, increase your protein intake.

Diversify your food; include green vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, salmon, and other nutritionally-rich items.

2. Improve your techniques

If an amateur is asked to make pro-like tackles and pivots, she/he will definitely end up hurting self.
The key here is progressively improving to get to that pro level.

So, before you make difficult moves, it’s important that you’re physically prepared for it. Focus on your technique. Practice as much as you can. Once you start getting better at difficult moves, gradually increase the intensity.

3. Strengthen your leg muscles

Your ACL is surrounded by groups of muscles. So, if you can get those muscles strong and flexible, they can protect your ligament better.

Take up exercises that strengthen your hamstrings. This will fortify the muscles in your legs, improving their strength, flexibility, agility and overall health.

Some of the common exercises for stronger hamstrings include different forms of deadlifts, barbell hip thrust, glute bridge, kettlebell swing, and reverse sled pulls.

4. Wear the right gears

This goes without saying…

Invest in the right quality gears. They can significantly lessen the risks of injuries.

The extra paddings and layers create an additional barrier between the muscles and source of impact, which can be a savior in sports like football that includes many reckless tackles.

5. Understand your body

Yes, you want to be the best. But then this doesn’t mean you stretch your boundaries carelessly, overextending your capabilities. You will only end up hurting yourself!

Understand your body better. Understand what it’s telling you; when it’s telling you to stop.

The way to get better is a process that includes smaller steps. Try to improve yourself progressively – and not abruptly.

Allow your body to acclimatize to its new capacities and limits.

Treatment

These are five tips on how you can prevent ACL tears.

In case, you end up with the injury, go and see a doctor immediately. The early symptoms include a loud pop sensation, severe pain, loss of range of motion and quick swelling.

Find the best orthopedic doctor in Kolkata. The doctor will do the x-rays. You might also go through MRI and ultrasound to rule out other types of injury.

Following the diagnosis, you will likely be recommended Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery. Or, depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor may even go for alternative treatments like rehabilitative therapy.

The total recovery might take anywhere between six to nine months. During the course, you would have to go through physiotherapy. All the while, you must take measures for effective care and caution.