Professional Athletes Benefit from Improvements in ACL Repair

An automation validation engineer with Panacea Technologies, Inc., in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, Jacob Newberger maintains a number of interests outside of his profession. Among other things, Jacob Newberger follows the latest advances in orthopedic surgery.

Orthopedic injuries come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to more serious conditions such as a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. Professional athletes are particularly susceptible to ACL tears, especially basketball and football players, such as Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. In the past, these kinds of injuries could spell the end of a player’s career or, at the very least, prevent players from ever regaining their previous form.

However, advances in modern medicine have allowed several players to successfully rebound from an ACL tear. Peterson’s story is most often cited as an example of how far sports and orthopedic medicine have come. In 2012, Peterson returned to the National Football League (NFL) only six months after tearing his ACL. The short recovery period was itself an impressive feat. However, Peterson did more than just rebound from his ACL tear. The season following his surgery, the running back averaged 19 yards per carry, a career best, and came within one carry of breaking the league’s single-season rushing record. While an ACL tear is still a very serious injury for pro athletes, such recovery stories provide hope for them as well as average people who simply wish to regain full range of motion in their knee.

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