Sprinters are some of the strongest and most athletic people in the world. If you perform in this sport, you know how important it is to keep your legs strong. However, you may have ignored the ACL and opened yourself up to series injury. Here's what you need to know about this orthopedic problem and how you can manage it if it occurs.
The ACL Is An Important Ligament
Sprinters need strong legs and often work their muscles heavily to build their bulk. However, they also need to make sure they take care of the ligament in their knee known as the ACL. This ligament helps keep the leg and the knee stable and provides extra support when sprinters take off from the starting line. It also helps keep their legs straight as they run.
While sprinters may not think about the ACL when they line up to race, they should be taking great care to avoid damage. Regular stretches in the knee help to keep the ligament strong and avoids stiffness. However, a tear or a break in the ACL ligament during a race or a practice can take you out of the sprinting world rather quickly.
Tears Can Be Devastating
The moment you tear an ACL during a race, you'll know it. That's because you'll suddenly lose your stability while feeling a severe pain in the knee. You are likely to either stop your sprint or fall over onto the track. When this happens, you may cause even more damage to the ligament. When the ACL tears, your knee will be loose and roam around in the joint.
As a result, you'll lose your stability, feel a lot of pain, and be unable to sprint for a long time. Visiting an orthopedic surgeon will be absolutely necessary to manage this issue. They can help to repair the ligament and get you back on your feet again. However, you need to take steps to ensure that you follow your recovery properly.
How To Recover After Surgery
After your orthopedic surgery, your doctor may tell you to rest for up to two weeks. This step is absolutely necessary and cannot be skipped. You'll need to keep bandages on your knee and avoid excessive movement. It goes without saying that you'll be unable to get on the track and practice or compete in any sprints. In fact, you'll hardly be able to walk, let alone run.
After this period, you may be able to walk and put weight on your knee. Visit your orthopedic surgeon to get an assessment of the situation. You'll still be unable to sprint or run, so don't even try. Instead, you're going to go through several months of physical therapy to stabilize your knee. It can be very frustrating to wait out this period without sprinting, especially if you have competitions coming up.
However, trying to exert yourself too hard will tear the ACL even worse and take you out of your sport for the rest of your life. Have patience with your orthopedic surgeon and let them help you recover. In this way, you can eventually get back on the track and can avoid another orthopedic surgery on your knee.
For more information, contact a medical office like Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester.