During her sophomore year, Stephanie tore her ACL while driving to the hoop during a basketball game. Stephanie was treated by Martha Murray, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and principal research investigator at Boston Children’s Hospital and had surgery to repair her ACL in the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Waltham location. Now a year after surgery, she is back playing sports and feels even stronger than she did before.
– The ACL is the most commonly injured knee ligament, affecting 400,000 Americans each year.
– Tears can occur when the ACL is overstretched.
– Injuries usually occur while an athlete is playing sports that involve cutting and pivoting, like soccer, skiing, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and football.
– Because teens are the most athletically active demographic group, their knees are continually at risk; 10 to 15 percent of teens who’ve torn an ACL will tear an ACL again.
– Girls are five to eight times more likely than boys to tear their ACLs.
– The ACL will not heal (regenerate) on its own, so standard treatment is reconstruction surgery—removal of the torn ACL and replacement with a graft of tendon taken from the hamstring muscles or elsewhere.
– The majority of patient who undergo ACL reconstructive surgery can return to sports within six to nine months of surgery.