Marco Asensio has ruptured his ACL in his left knee, according to multiple reports.
Now let’s take a look at what is the ACL injury, the complications of it and it’s treatment:
What is ACL injury:
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the most common injuries seen among soccer players to-date. This injury is mainly associated with football because:
Typical movements in football can cause stress on an ACL—High-velocity, change in direction, pivots and rotation of lower extremities can affect the function and stability of an ACL.
For example, when a player passes the ball from one side of the field to the other using a “right-to-left” motion they rotate with the left foot fixed to the ground around the left knee but are kicking the ball across their body. That rotation happens at a velocity and force that is well beyond that of normal activity, which can lead to an ACL injury.
Contact vs. non-contact with another player—ACL injuries can occur when contact is made with another player—such as a tackle from the side causing a valgus force to the knee or “knock knee”. Similarly, non-contact soccer injuries to the ACL are commonly caused by the repetitive and quick movements mentioned above or landing awkwardly.
To really maximize on athletic ability and prevent soccer-related injuries, like ACL tears, it is important for players to have a full understanding of the nature of the game and how it requires high-velocity and rotational body movements.
One way to avoid initial or reoccurring ACL injury is for players to maintain fitness and training schedules throughout the season. Focusing on strength and conditioning of a player’s core, hip and thigh muscles in relation to common soccer movements will help players avoid initial injury as well as re-injury to an ACL.
People who experience an ACL injury are at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee. Arthritis may occur even if you have surgery to reconstruct the ligament.
Multiple factors likely influence the risk of arthritis, such as the severity of the original injury, the presence of related injuries in the knee joint or the level of activity after treatment.
Likewise, to improve upon the care provided to patients with ACL injuries, sports medicine surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) participate in an ACL registry that enables them to conduct prospective analysis of post ACL injury outcomes as well as utilize the expertise of a large sports service that works collaboratively to conduct a high volume of ACL surgeries and is instrumental in effectively determining a safe return to play for athletes.
Together, advanced treatments coupled with continued physical fitness will help players gain the necessary strength and ability to prevent injury and appropriately recovery if injury has occurred.