Injury Report: Jamal Anderson, Atlanta Falcons
There is no way to prevent ACL injuries in contact sports. However, recent
studies have shown that female athletes are at a higher risk of sustaining ACL
injuries than male athletes. The reason may be that there are anatomic
differences that predispose women to this injury.
The average recovery period is 6-8 months. The patients begin walking
quickly after the surgery, and physical therapy begins within 2 weeks. At that
time, the patient begins stationary bicycle exercises and quadriceps and
hamstring strengthening. In 10-12 weeks, patients can begin jogging on a
treadmill, swimming, and golfing. At around 4 months, the patient can begin
pivoting maneuvers and drills. Finally, after 6-8 months, the athlete is able
to return to his or her sport.
With modern treatment, a torn ACL is no longer a career-ending injury.
Treatment works very well and allows many athletes to compete at their
pre-injury levels, although some who have suffered a torn ACL may feel that
they lose some of their maneuverability.
Medical information was provided by Michael J. Ciccotti MD, director of
sports medicine at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University
Hospital in Philadelphia. Ciccotti is also the team physician for the