Why more needs to be done to prevent ACL injuries
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
Sports and injuries go together like a clean car and bird poop. It dawned on me as I sat in the waiting room two years ago with several others my age who all had crutches in tow and a swollen knee: Maybe sports aren’t as good for you as everyone believes them to be. It wasn’t only the crutches and knees twice the size of what they should be that we five young people shared. All of us had torn our Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) playing either soccer, football, or basketball.
For those who have haven’t had the pleasure of being forced to know what an ACL is, it’s a very important band of connective tissue that helps stabilize your knee. It allows you to do a wide range of motions such as pivoting, walking up and down stairs, balancing, and other movements that you will need to be able to do basic life things. Once it’s torn in half, as my doctor told me, it will never be one hundred per cent healed. This is a devastating blow to any competitive athlete. For me, it meant that I couldn’t work for a year and still to this day struggle with trusting my left leg.
Although in many cases it only takes one weird collision to cause permanent knee damage, I think that there needs to be more done in order to prevent sports-related injuries from happening. It could be as simple as teaching players how to collide with their opponents without dislocating their knee, or actual strength training to build up thigh muscles and calves before an injury occurs. The only two options for injured athletes is either to be slowly forgotten by their team as their injury takes the time needed to heal, or they get into a Derrick Rose situation where they return to sport way too early only to injure themselves yet again. Teams need to be more diligent in with injury prevention so it doesn’t get to that point.