According to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the number of young Aussies going under the knife for knee reconstruction has risen by more than 70 per cent in the last 15 years.
These knee constructions can occur when the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is damaged. Sports that place young sportsmen and women most at risk of damaging their ACL include AFL, rugby and netball. Associate Professor Christopher Vertullo, director of Knee Research Australia, contributes the raise in surgery to younger athletes, longer sporting seasons, more intense training, high level of competition and a lack of free play.
But don’t be concerned. Stopping all sport isn’t the answer. Although common, ACL injuries are mostly preventable. Regular exercise and ability programs, which develop healthy movement patterns and strengthen muscles around commonly injured points, can reduce ACL injuries from 80 per cent to 50 per cent.
For more information on how to keep your ACL healthy, have a chat with your local GP or visit https://orthoinfo.aaos.org.