Fit And Well Idaho: ACL Injuries


By Brittany Cooper

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries are prevalent at various levels of sports. Most commonly referred to as the ACL, we typically hear about the male professional athletes who suffer these injuries, but they're not the most at risk. Female athletes are more prone to these injuries.

Brent McMillan, DPT, Cassia Regional Medical Center says, "there's a lot of injuries on the field, especially football, soccer....the player never gets touched."

Certified by the American Physical Therapy Association in Orthopedics, if there is one piece of advice he can give to athletes is this.

McMillan adds, "when the person stops, you want the knee to go up right over the top of the foot, the toe rather than drop inside. If it drops inside, you're going to be at–risk."

So why are female athletes so prone to injury?

"They tend to have wider pelvises and that puts their knees more together so they're more knock–kneed and in that position, it loads the inside of the knee, also it puts a torque through the patella–femoral joint, the knee–cap so it tracks lateral outside. So you're more apt for repetitive injury in those kind of athletes."

But athletes who condition properly can cut the risk of tears.

"You can actually increase the strength in the quadriceps, anterior cruciate really benefits from really strong hamstrings, the back of the thigh, but the studies show the most important exercises now are up at the hip."

For coaches out there, McMillan encourages you to watch the mechanics of your players.

"Make sure they're not dropping inside, like on a jump–start in basketball when they come in and hit, they drop and try to turn really fast, they drop their knee inside and that's really more prone to injury than if they go down and come straight then go out."

Keeping athletes in the game through strength and conditioning.

If you're looking to play baseball or softball this year, McMillan recommends, run through the bases instead of taking a sharp turn.