Austin Sports Medicine: ACL Injuries in Teens

It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class! We’ve recently talked about ACL specifics, including preventing tears and why women are more susceptible to those types of injuries. But it’s not only women who are at risk for ACL injuries – more and more teen athletes find themselves with ACL tears too. Let’s take a look at the facts around ACL injuries in young athletes:

  • Similar to their adult counterparts, female athletes in their teens are more susceptible to an ACL tear than their male classmates.
  • For teenagers, most ACL injuries occur when the person is participating in an athletic event and doesn’t properly hit a landing after a jump, pivots too quickly while changing direction, or quickly decelerates. Movements such as these stretch the ACL, often to the point of tearing.
  • ACL injuries in young adults are often associated with sports like basketball, soccer, football and volleyball.
  • Doctors speculate that these injuries could be related to teens training year-round for various sports with no time-off.
  • In addition, playing field or court sports that focus on quick starts, stops and pivots makes teens more likely to suffer an ACL injury, as well.
  • ACL prevention programs are becoming more popular in youth sports, as studies have shown they help reduce the likelihood of ACL tears.
  • Most ACL prevention programs include muscle strengthening workouts and exercise to correct improper movement patterns.

Next time, we’ll delve deeper into the ACL prevention programs, and show you how they’re done!

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