Soccer and ACL Injuries

Soccer is a sport many youth participate in and continue through high school, and even into college. At a high level, it requires a lot of speed, agility and strength. Due to the intensity of the activity, injuries are common. Often times throughout their career soccer players may experience strained muscles, sprained ankles or concussions. However, due to the need for quick changes in direction and high probability of player to player contact, ACL injuries are often sustained.

An ACL injury can be treated surgically or non-surgically depending on the severity of the injury and the long-term activity goals of the athlete.

If surgical intervention is determined to be the best course of care by the patient and the surgeon, then physical therapy is essential in returning the athlete to their previous level of activity. PT can start as early as the week following surgery and emphasizes range of motion and quadricep activation. Quad and hip strength is essential for progressing into full weight bearing activities.

Depending on the surgical protocol, weight bearing activities will progress focusing on proper lower extremity mechanics and good motor control. Progression into more dynamic activities, including returning to running and introduction of agility drills will also be determined by the surgeon’s protocol and patient’s ability to perform them safely.

If the ultimate goal is to return to sport, proper tests and measures are in place to maximize the athlete’s ability to do so safely.

While participating in any sport has its risks, knowing that you have the ability to return to sport with proper medical management can ease the fear of sustaining them.

If you have recently sustained an injury or are worried you may be at risk for one, please contact our office and schedule an evaluation so we can assist you in determining your best plan of action for medical care or injury prevention.

All of our orthopedic board-certified physical therapists can perform an injury screen to determine your level of risk and assist you with exercises to help address your discovered deficits.

Maddy Bosek, DPT,OCS, ATC