ACL tears

Submitted by mgoblueballer on April 7th, 2010 at 7:27 AM

Seems like a disproportionate amount of ACL tears recently. I know Barwis emphasizes injury prevention, but this is seeming like a trend. Does this reveal a weakness in Barwis' program, or is it mere coincidence? I would rather have the numerous pulled hamstrings of the Carr era. I dont have any statistics from the past, but to have 3 players out with the same injury. . . Is this perhaps something that could have been prevented?


Six Zero

April 7th, 2010 at 7:57 AM ^

is aware of this and blames it on faulty construction/design of the human body. He's been working on a new design himself which, incidentally, will also eat metal and be unable to cry.


April 7th, 2010 at 7:58 AM ^

ACL injuries are going to happen, regardless of your S&C program. Anytime you're playing a sport that involves sudden changes of direction and/or contact, it's going to be a part of the sport. No amount of prehab is going to prevent them.

BTW, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall a single ACL injury from Rodriguez's arrival until Molk's torn ACL in the middle of last season. That's about 21 straight months without an ACL injury.


April 7th, 2010 at 8:32 AM ^

An issue with ACL tears is the shear force created at the knee b/c so much attention is paid the immobilizing the ankle these days. This is due to taping, splinting and wearing high top shoes. It severely limits the ankle to roll and b/c it cannot that force is transferred to the knee.

The product of this has been the onset of many lineman now wearing hinged knee braces, without history of previous injury.


April 7th, 2010 at 8:50 AM ^

After all the ACL and MCL injuries I've seen, I often wonder why almost every player doesn't do this. I know it can limit your ability to juke and cut to some extent, but unless you're an electric, playmaking RB or a lockdown CB, it shouldn't matter as much, should it?


April 7th, 2010 at 9:17 AM ^

and because of the shape of the human leg, they have a tendency to slide out of place. I stopped wearing mine after about ten episodes of fighting to keep it in place and re-adjusting every few seconds. I believe that the linemen wear them in part because of the possibility of getting a leg rolled up on by others on virtually every play, which is less of a danger for skill position folks.


April 7th, 2010 at 12:38 PM ^

I don't like my tight compression sleeve. The only capacity in which it worked well for me was to reduce swelling during/post physical activity. I don't really feel it helped much to prevent my knee from dislodging again, and it was really uncomfortable once I started sweating.
-My 2 cents


April 7th, 2010 at 10:38 AM ^

Another contributing factor to the increase in ACL and MCL injuries in sports in recent years (not just at Michigan) is the fact that athletes today have significantly stronger and more developed quad and ham muscles. These muscles are capable of producing an incredible amount of "fast-twitch" force. While you can strengthen the stabilizer muscles, there is no real way to strengthen the ACL or MCL, so the disproportionate force exerted by the queds and hams can lead to and ACL or MCL injury.

This is not to say that there players should not develop there legs - obviously the vast majority of football players go through their entire careers without tearing their ACL or MCL.


April 7th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

Typically, it's not because of more developed quads and hamstrings. The majority of the time there is going to be stronger quad muscles compared to hamstrings muscle. Also, many times the glute medius is weak and the angle at the hip joint increases the angle at the knee and puts a person at an increased risk of ACL tear. The entire leg works together and if there is a limiting factor at the hip,knee or ankle the chance of ACL tears increase. If a person lacks mobility at the hip and lacks stability at the knee and ankle joint then they increase their chances of ACL tear.


April 7th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

I thought the point was to strengthen the surrounding muscles to limit the forces on the ligaments, ie to take the load off the ligaments? Wasn't that the whole point of the rehab program?

Sgt. Wolverine

April 7th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

As I understand it, there's also been an evolution in recreational skiing injuries: ski boots have gotten higher, which means now the more likely injuries occur not to the ankles, but to the knees.

Of course, if you're only marginally coordinated like me, skiing injuries could happen to anything. It's a miracle I'm still alive...


April 7th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

Also, as discussed a couple of weeks ago, athletic shoes really aren't designed intelligently. They promote landing on one's heel instead of the ball of the foot, which puts extra force on the leg joints. Shoe manufacturers try to compensate by cramming in extra padding, but that's not sufficient.


April 7th, 2010 at 11:29 AM ^

I was recently shown some activities designed to help strengthen the supporting and stabilizing parts of the knee in order to help prevent ACL tears. As she went over the exercises, the presenting trainer emphasized that monitoring proper technique was vital, because sloppy technique could cause . . . you guessed it - ACL tears!


April 7th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

re: The Impaler
no, I am not joking and I am not ignorant. I have torn my ACL before, been through the rehab for it and gotten plenty of education on the injury. And I also have a formal education in health sciences. As plenty of other educated posters have pointed out, there are modifiable risk factors involved with an ACL tear. It was a simple observation of at trend and an inquiry of opinions on the subject. Therefore, YOUR post is one of the most ignorant posts I've seen and you deserve the negbang.


April 7th, 2010 at 11:47 AM ^

thought this post had something to do with the Austin City Limits (also commonly referred to as ACL) music festival and my tears of joy for seeing Brooklyn Decker in attendance last year.


April 7th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

simply slipping off the curb on a sidewalk while walking to his car. Aww man, that was the most awful thing I ever saw in my life.
Well almost the most awful. There's always Napoleon McCallum, isn't there. Sheesh!

God could not possibly have made humans in his image. The susceptibility of the human knee joint is just ridiculous whether playing football, skiing or walking around.

a non emu

April 7th, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

I am having my second ACL surgery tomorrow. The premise of post ACL rehab is that you can prevent ACL tears by strengthening the quad, and the surrounding muscles in order to protect the knee from strain. But my right leg was definitely the much stronger leg. Even though I had surgery on my left ACL nearly 2 years ago, my left quad (and the hams and calf) is still noticeably smaller and weaker than my right one. My right leg having to compensate for the weaker leg, and because when going through rehab the first time I tried exercise both legs simultaneously, was actually quite strong. So based on my experience, I actually think there is some merit to the stronger muscles causing ACL tears theory explained by michgoblue. Are there any published studies on this? I would love to read some if any of you can point me to one.

Most ACL surgeries are non-contact freak injuries where the knee for whatever reason just gives out on you. You might have done the exact same cut/move a million times before, but for some reason it decides to snap on you. I would argue that there isn't much you can do to prevent them.