It has been over two years since my ACL reconstruction but I can recognize an ACL post-operative brace from yards away. The four straps, a noticeable scar and the small dial on both sides of the brace that adjust the range of motion. During one shopping trip at the local mall, I saw three people wearing ACL braces. All three individuals were female and appeared to be high school students.
When I was wearing the ACL brace, people would stop me and ask about my knee. Most of the people had the surgery and would tell me their story. One person recounted in detail his surgery, hospital stay, staph infection and overall horrible ACL experience. I have not approached people wearing ACL braces but I silently wish them well.
The numbers on female ACL tears are astounding. Over 1.4 million women have been afflicted in the past 10 years alone -- twice the rate of the previous decade. It is estimated that more than 30,000 high school and college age females will rupture their ACL every year. In the last 15 years, ankle sprains have decreased by 86 percent while knee ligament injuries have increased by 172 percent.
Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group has developed the PEP Program to prevent ACL injuries.
This prevention program consists of a warm-up, stretching, strengthening, plyometrics, and sport specific agilities to address potential deficits in the strength and coordination of the stabilizing muscles around the knee joint!
My daughter's soccer season starts this week. The team has a new coach. The coach is female, college aged and unable to play soccer again due to knee injuries/surgeries. I wish the new coach and the team all the best!