Back to Practice! What young athletes can do to decrease the risk of a torn ACL.

As students head back to school, they also head back to practice.  Two of the most popular sports of the fall season, football and soccer, put young athletes at risk for a common knee injury, a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).  The ACL is an internal ligament that helps stabilize the knee.  In sports that involve quick stops and direction changes, the players are at a greater risk for injury to this stabilizing structure.  Female athletes have a higher incidence of ACL injury than males. (1)

Once the ACL is torn, the athlete may need surgery and several weeks or months of rehabilitation.  This can lead to a disappointing and early end to their fall sports season.

So, what can you do to stay healthy and on the field all season?

Kristin Hutchinson, P.T., D.P.T. of Amber Hill Physical Therapy recommends a custom training program to help prevent ACL tears.  Proper training before taking the field can improve the athlete’s skills as well as help to prevent injuries.  One of Amber Hill’s experienced physical therapists can develop a program specific to your strengths and weaknesses to keep you playing all season.  A custom ACL program consists of an evaluation to determine your specific needs and two follow-up appointments to monitor your form and progress your program.

For more information or to schedule an evaluation, call Amber Hill Physical Therapy at 301-473-5900.

A little extra work early in the season can have a large payoff when you finish your season strong!


  1. McNair PJ, Marshall RN, Matherson, JA: Important features associated with anterior cruciate injury. N Z Med J 1990; 103:537