Contact vs. Non-Contact ACL Injuries

May 8, 2020 1:17 am Published by Leave your thoughts

ACL injury is unfortunately common among athletes. No one is immune—the injury occurs across sports, ages and genders. A bad ACL tear has been known to end college or professional sports careers, and that’s made worse in that there is no solid strategy to prevent it. Here is an overview of ACL injuries and the differences between contact and non-contact ACL injury in Las Vegas, NV.

Non-contact injuries

The ACL stabilizes the knee by acting as a restraint against excessive range of motion and using nerve receptors to sense the position of the joint. When it exceeds limits, the nerves send a signal to the brain and spine, which stimulates muscles to secure the joint. Despite these measures, the knee can hyperextend and buckle.

This is why ACL tears in Las Vegas, NV are usually non-contact injuries. They result from movement, especially if an athlete changes direction too quickly or lands from a jump in an awkward way. Poor body mechanics also contribute—pivoting while the knee is fully extended or stopping suddenly without good form can also lead to the ACL tearing. Those with a knock-kneed conformation or reduced joint range of motion in the hip and knees are also at high risk.

These factors make it difficult to assess the risk factors for ACL. It requires monitoring of movements, and sometimes, if an athlete is particularly skilled, their form is not questioned. Any shortcomings are often not detected until there is an injury.

Contact injuries

In very rare instances, ACL tears can result from blunt force trauma. This can occur if the ACL is already compromised or if the impact is just violent enough. If there is a contact injury with the ACL, there are often other ligaments involved. Therefore, the ACL tear will be one of several injuries to an area, possibly including fractures.

One example of a contact injury would be if a football player is hit at the side of the knee. That spot is particularly vulnerable, and the impact can knock the knee cap and tendons out of place. Falls can also lead to a tear, although normally that occurs from an athlete attempting to catch themselves through sudden movement rather than blunt force.

Since contact injuries with the ACL are so rare, prevention should focus on the non-contact injuries. Involving trainers, physical therapists and sports medicine professionals are a good way to start. These individuals can detect muscle weakness and prescribe focused exercises.

Also, if you live with a young athlete, take any pain complaints seriously. They may have a form issue that can later contribute to an ACL tear. If you detect irregularities early and start them in physical therapy, you may prevent a more serious injury.

Bernard Ong, M.D. can treat your ACL injury in Las Vegas, NV. An ACL tear is a painful experience that requires immediate medical attention. Our clinic specializes in sports medicine and is prepared to treat your contact or non-contact ACL injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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