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ACL Injury Prevention and Treatment

by UPMC

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The experts at UPMC Sports Medicine provide innovative training and safety tips for motocross athletes of all skill levels. Rick Joreitz, a physical therapist at UPMC Sports Medicine and team physical therapist for the Pittsburgh Penguins®, offers tips to help avoid injury to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and ways to get back on track safely after injury.

ACL and Injury Fast Facts

  • ACL rupture is one of the most common injuries in motocross racing.
  • ACL is located inside the knee socket.
  • Limits how far the shin bone (tibia) slides forward in relation to the thigh bone (femur).
  • ACL tears cause the knee to become unstable and may unpredictably buckle or give way.
  • Symptoms of a torn or ruptured ACL include:
    • Audible “pop” at the moment of injury
    • Slippage of the knee out of its joint
    • Severe swelling
    • Painful movements
  • Approximately 80 percent of knee injuries affect the ACL.

ACL Injury Prevention

  • Warm up properly.
  • Consider a dynamic warm-up, which includes:
    • Jogging
    • Agility drills (such as shuttle runs or side shuffling)
    • Two-leg jumping
    • Squats
    • Lunges or dead lifts
    • Anything that stretches out the lower half of your body
  • Balance and stability can also help prevent injury. The more muscle control you have over your knee, the less likely injury becomes.

Treatment Options

  • Treatment options vary from surgery to nonsurgical rehabilitation.
  • Rehabilitation typically includes neuromuscular exercises and strength-training.
  • Other nonsurgical options may include protective bracing, muscle strengthening exercises, and perturbation (balance/stability) training.
  • Immediate treatment options after knee injury can include:
    • Icing the injury multiple times per day
    • Compressing the knee with a bandage or wrap
    • Elevating it above the level of the heart
  • If you are experiencing knee pain or any of the symptoms of ACL injury, seek medical attention from your physician.

With these tips in mind, you can stay on track for miles. Whether it’s just a small tweak or a complete rupture, the experts at UPMC Sports Medicine have motocross athletes covered.

Visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com or call 1-855-93-SPORT to learn more or to make an appointment with one of our specialists.

UPMC Sports Medicine

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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Discussion

  1. Gravatar
    samuel scanlon September 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    what are the proper ways of the rehab process im having acl replacement and a bunch of other stuff as well thank you

  2. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer September 26, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Sam - You should talk to your doctor. Each rehab is somewhat unique to the individual.

    Aldon Baker wrote this article with some other general guidelines. http://www.racerxvt.com/article/james-stewarts-acl-repair

  3. Gravatar
    James Noble-Campbell June 25, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I'm fifteen and about 12 weeks ago i had a all reconstruction, do you know when i can ride again? Or what length of time it takes after surgery?

  4. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer June 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    James - Talk to your doctor. NEVER EVER get or take medical advice from the internet. Your doctor is the only person who knows and understands the extent of your injury and recovery. Good luck with your recovery!

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