Safety Seminar For Girls’ Basketball Camp

On Saturday, Summit physical therapist assistant, Rob Mandell, is presenting an ACL injury prevention talk and demonstration to a young girls’ basketball camp at Tartan High School in Oakdale, Minnesota.

The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is critical to knee stability. ACL tears are common among young athletes, and young women are three to six times more susceptible to ACL injuries than men. Basketball and soccer players are at highest risk for these injuries, but they also occur in football, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, softball, gymnastics, and tennis athletes. You might guess that tears would be the result of collisions during play, but 70 to 80 percent of ACL tears happen without direct contact by another player.

“We are still not certain about which factors cause such an increase in risk for women,” Rob says, “but research has shown that ACL injury prevention programs do help female athletes reduce their incidence of injury.”

There are compelling reasons to prevent ACL tears.

  • When the ACL is torn, recovery is lengthy, and can cost an athlete time away from their sport. This may affect scholarship opportunities.
  • Surgery is costly, and like any surgery, is not always successful.
  • Once the ACL has been torn, a patient has up to a 50 percent chance of developing degenerative arthritis within 12 years.

“ACL prevention programs like ours are important because they encourage girls to perform training drills that increase balance, power, agility, neuromuscular conditioning and muscular reaction,” Rob explains. “These are all factors shown to reduce the risk of ACL injury in female athletes. I’ll be teaching exercises that are meant to take the place of the warm up period. We encourage young athletes to begin these drills four to six weeks before they begin competing. Preventative drills include jumping exercises that focus on proper leg position when cutting or landing a jump, balance exercises, lunges, squats, heel raises, and techniques that these young basketball players can use to ensure a balanced soft landing during play.”

At Summit, we are committed to working in our community to keep young athletes in the game and out of the doctor’s office.

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