11:04 AM

Why ACL injuries are on the rise

Good Morning America reports on why ACL injuries are on the rise in an interview with Andrew D. Pearle, MD, Chief of Sports Medicine at HSS. 

Dr. Pearle explained the ACL is commonly injured in people who play cutting sports. When an athlete goes to cut or to pivot, they plant and their foot goes one way and their knee goes the other. That puts the ACL at risk. 

Dr. Pearle continued. “Classically people feel a pop. They can feel it or hear it. People usually go down immediately afterwards. If they try and get up, the knee feels loose or unstable.  Usually people can't continue playing.  That day or that night, the knee will often swell. If you have a swollen knee,  that usually means you've damaged the internal structure of the knee. If you can't bear weight, it's certainly time to see a doctor. ”

It's not just professional athletes that are at risk. “A lot of the spotlight has been on elite athletes, but the population that's most vulnerable is high school athletes, particularly girls. They have a 2 to 8 times higher risk of ACL injury than boys.  If you tear your ACL in high school, there's about a 50 to 70 percent chance that you're going to get arthritis in your thirties,” said Dr. Pearle. 

“We have solutions for this. Neuromuscular training can help. This refers to exercises that build muscle memory to optimize athletic movement,” advised Dr. Pearle. 

Watch the segment here on Goodmorningamerica.com. This segment also aired on broadcast on August 14, 2023.