An anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear is one of the most common injuries seen in sports medicine, especially in sports that require running, jumping or pivoting movements.
Akin to a fibrous, thick rubber band made of collagen, the ACL runs through the center of the knee and connects the femur to the tibia, allowing the knee to bend and flex but not too far. When it tears, the knee can become destabilized. So, for anyone who wants to continue to play sports, surgery is required.
Once a narrow subspecialty of orthopaedics with a focus on professional athletes, the field of sports medicine has exploded in the last decade. The evolution of ACL surgery and artificial disc replacement procedure are just some of several advances in the treatment of athletes and their injuries that have started to serve not only the pros who make a living from their skills, but also the weekend warrior.
This may include individuals who get hurt in the heat of a pick-up game, the neighborhood league player who needs a spinal decompression therapy for herniated disc, the college runner who pulls a tendon, or the high school football player with a possible concussion.