How an ACL Injury Can Affect Mental Health

August 1, 2019 1:21 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Sports and other activities always involve some risk of injury. A common sports injury is an ACL tear. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the shinbone to the thighbone at the knee. When this tissue is torn, it causes pain, swelling in the knee and instability. Sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis and skiing pose higher risk for this type of injury. When it occurs, healing includes both recovery from the ACL tear and mental recovery in Las Vegas, NV.

Why? Since treatment may include physical therapy and surgery, the recovery isn’t always simple and quick. An ACL tear can greatly affect a person’s current and future activity level. The changes in lifestyle and the physical pain involved can break a person’s spirit and leave them feeling defeated. Following are a few of the common symptoms to watch for after an ACL tear during mental recovery in Las Vegas, NV:

  • Fear of reinjury: Athletes may be afraid to return to their sport due to fear of reinjury. They don’t want to go through the pain and healing process again, so they avoid activity. Their fear puts limits on what they do, even if their body could physically handle it.
  • Depression: If sports or other activities were a big part of a person’s life, and they are now afraid to participate in those activities, they may become depressed. They feel a large part of their identity has been stripped away. They no longer do what they enjoy, so they struggle with depression.
  • Isolation: During recovery from an ACL injury, a person may feel isolated because they cannot participate in many activities due to their limited mobility. Even after physical recovery, they may feel isolated because of what they missed out on during recovery or because they are no longer as active in sports as they used to be.
  • Anger: An ACL injury may cause a person to miss out on the rest of the sports season or simply miss out on things they want to do. They can become frustrated and angry. They wonder why this happened to them and become frustrated that physical recovery isn’t faster.
  • Lack of motivation: Motivation goes hand in hand with an ACL tear and mental recovery in Las Vegas, NV. If the person is convinced that things won’t get better or is afraid to return to activities once their treatment is complete, they may lack the motivation to try to get better.
  • Sleep issues: Due to the physical and emotional pain involved, those suffering from ACL injuries may struggle with sleep disturbance. Physical discomfort as well as concerns about future abilities can keep them awake at night. The lack of proper rest can worsen their struggles with frustration and depression.


Due to these common issues, it’s important to treat someone who suffers from an ACL injury as a whole person. Treatment providers must keep these potential effects in mind and work with the patient to instill confidence and a positive attitude, not just heal their physical injury.

We Treat the Whole Person

At the office of Bernard Ong, M.D., we focus on providing the very best in patient care. Our specialties include ACL tears and mental recovery in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today for personalized care that gets you back in the game.

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