Knee injuries have hit the headlines many times this season in the world of football with the likes of Theo Walcott and most recently Jese of Real Madrid succumbing to serious knee ligament damage. Serious injuries can end a player’s season and even their career and with the impending World Cup there is even more to lose.
These types of injuries however are not just limited to football, in fact they can strike anyone in the world of sport and outside of it, with damage to the ACL being the most common of all in contact and extreme sports from tennis to football to snowboarding.
What is the ACL?
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is located at the front of the knee joint and is responsible for stabilisation of the joint and basically stopping the knee from moving forward beyond its normal range of movement. With the ACL a player will find it difficult to walk, run and jump due to the instability in the joint and is one of the worst knee injuries a player can experience, typically ruling them out for an entire season.
It is possible to be ACL deficient by building strength in the quads in order to counteract the instability as a result of the ligament damage sustained. These strengthening exercise are also a great pre-hab routine for those about to undertake surgery.
In recent winter sports competitions there have been a number of participants who have suffered such injuries yet have still gone on to compete at the highest level with their pre-hab work in conjunction with the use of a knee support.
For the majority of those suffering ligament damage surgery is the obvious choice in either repairing or replacing the ligament. The ACL is replaced using a graft from either the hamstring or groin which can restore the stability of the knee joint. As well as replacing the original ligament surgeons often introduce a new ACL to the lateral side of the knee to help manage rotation, thereby offering a greater amount of stability and minimising the risk of further injury post surgery.
Surgery can rule a player out for an entire season with a typical lay off time of up to 12 months following the initial procedure, recovery and intensive physiotherapy.
How does a knee support work?
In managing serious knee injuries such as ACL damage a rigid knee support is often employed (depending on the sport you wish to undertake) to help protect the joint against further impact and minimising the risk of unnatural movement of the joints, preventing it from over rotating and causing further damage to the ligaments.
This type of support can be used as a preventative measure for those in extreme sports as well as part of your overall rehabilitation programme. Products such as the CTi Knee Brace are manufactured from carbon fibre, thereby making it super strong to withstand impact as well as being lightweight to give you the flexibility you need.
Following any serious injury it is important that you seek a professional diagnosis where the treatment options can be assessed, whether that is surgery, physiotherapy, the use of a knee support or a combination of all three.