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Treating ACL Injuries in Young Lacrosse Players

Are you passionate about lacrosse? Do you have a child who is passionate about lacrosse? This sport is a great way to get exercise, but the fast nature of it also poses a risk for sustaining an ACL injury.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located in the knee and can be injured or torn when it is harshly twisted in the wrong way. ACL tears are especially common for lacrosse players, as the sport requires sudden stops and changes in direction. This increases the risk of twisting the knee the wrong way and sustaining an ACL injury.

An ACL injury is painful, debilitating and a long road to recovery. Those who undergo ACL reconstruction require 6-9 months of physical therapy prior to returning to the sport. Fortunately, Doctor of Physical Therapy Mary Kate Casey is well versed in rehabbing this injury, not only as a physical therapist but twice herself as an athlete and now Four Time National Champion Lacrosse player.

Doctors of Physical Therapy are the leading health care providers offering programs that can help reduce ACL injuries and can even prevent them from occurring in the first place. For more information on how physical therapy can help you or your athlete recover and prevent injuries, contact PREP Performance Center today.

ACL Injury Stats and Treatment:

According to GetPT1st, “research shows that 26% of non-contact ACL injuries could be prevented by specific exercise programs.” At PREP Performance Center, we are dedicated not only to helping you recover from your ACL reconstruction, but we are also able to help you prevent further injuries from occurring in the future.

During our movement assessment our physical therapists determine your strengths and weaknesses and can often identify areas that increase your risk of an ACL injury. We utilize balance, jumping and landing tests such as the Y balance, Broad Jump, Triple Hop, and Landing Error Scoring System (LESS). The battery of tests assess strength, power, balance, body awareness, leg symmetry and jumping and landing mechanics to determine whether or not you are at a high-risk for a non-contact ACL injury. After diagnostic tests and physical examinations are complete, our physical therapists will design a specialized program based on your specific needs.

ACL Injury Prevention:

In a study examining the effect of ACL injury prevention programs, female athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 52% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens. Even better, male athletes demonstrated a reduced ACL injury risk of 85% after incorporating the program into their fitness regimens. With such overwhelmingly positive odds, it is no secret why athletes take advantage of these programs.

For the past two decades, ACL injury prevention programs have been a strong focus in the field of sports medicine. Various programs have been created as a way to encourage and promote proper techniques for athletes who may be at high risk of sustaining an ACL injury. For lacrosse players, such prevention programs include targeted exercises for the sport that address muscle strengthening, muscle recruitment patterns, proprioception and plyometrics.

Most ACL injury prevention program sessions last approximately 20-30 minutes, making it very easy to incorporate into a practice setting. It is important that lacrosse athletes strongly consider participating in an ACL injury prevention program, due to the increasingly positive statistical evidence supporting their effectiveness.

ACL prevention programs have been proven to work, helping hundreds of lacrosse players everywhere, not only while they are on the field, but also while they are training. Our practice is dedicated to helping athletes recover from ACL injuries, in addition to preventing further injury in the future. If you’re a youth athlete, parent or coach and are interested in our ACL injury prevention program, contact our Chicago, IL office today to find out how our services can benefit you. We can help you reach your optimum physical function and keep you on the field playing the sport you love!

Contact PREP Performance Center for more information.