How to know you've injured your anterior cruciate ligament
A famous football injury due to the number of high profile players who've been victims of it. Years ago this would end a player's career. Major improvements in treatment techniques means a quicker & safer return to the pitch these days.
PA ImagesSuccessfully returning to the pitch, Owen puts his knee to the test playing for Newcastle against his former club, Liverpool. The training that professional players do after injury makes them come back even stronger than before. An injured player needs to be dedicated and show great commitment. Even though the modern footballer can recover from most injuries, it still needs a lot of hard work for this to happen. Another thing to take into consideration is the psychological aspect of a serious injury. Players never really know they are fully recovered, until they take a hit in a tackle and get back to their feet.
As one of the major stabilisers (supports and keeps steady) of the knee joint, the anterior cruciate ligament is found in the middle of the knee joint, next to the posterior cruciate ligament. It allows the knee to twist and turn as one piece. The ACL, as it is called, first became known in football circles, when Paul Gascoigne ruptured his in the 1991 FA Cup final playing for Tottenham against Nottingham Forest. It became such big news because Gazza was just about to join Italian Serie A team Lazio in a multi-million pound deal. In fact, it is said that the transfer fee being offered by Lazio was reduced because of the injury.
PA ImagesGazza injured his ACL in this tackle. It was the biggest news in world football at the time. After the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Paul Gascoigne was hot property. This injury nearly cost him a move to Lazio. Gascoigne and the Tottenham Hotspur back room staff worked hard and Gazza made a full recovery from the ACL injury and completed the transfer. He would however, have a series of other injuries that kept him sidelined throughout his career.GAZZ-ARGH!
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries happen a lot in sport, with football having more ACL incidents than others. The injury risk is goes up in female footballers. They are 2 to 7 times more likely to injure the ACL than male players. Experts have come up with different reasons why this is so. Some say it is because woman have shorter ACL's, others, that it could be down how they land after jumping. Either way, they can happen when a player is running and suddenly attempts to change direction or when landing awkwardly. If you have ever been watching a football match on television when it happens to a professional player, there is normally no one around them and they just fall to the ground in pain.
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Recovering From An Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
This injury used to end a footballer's career. The advances in surgery and rehabilitation methods means a return to the pre-injury levels is now possible..