Posts Tagged ‘rehabilitation’

ACL Injuries and Young Female Athletes

Thank you for joining me for the live chat on ACL injuries last week!  We had some excellent questions. One participant asked a key question about young females and ACL injuries and I would like to expand on my response to this important subject.

There are a growing number of  female athletes who are tearing their ACLs.  In fact, young female athletes (under 20 years old) are four to eight times more likely than males to injure their ACL.  Even though extensive research has been done on the reasons why this could happen, we are not exactly sure why females tend to injure their ACL easier. Luckily, if a young woman injures her ACL  we are able to get most athletes back to their previous level of play due to advances in arthroscopic surgery and specialized physical therapy.

Full recovery may take about eight to 10 months but important to note, is in rehabilitation, experienced physical therapists are working with the athlete to help them avoid re-injury.  The physical therapists and athletic trainers are teaching young girls how to jump, how to land, how to contract muscles correctly as well as specific exercises that will help strengthen the knee.  Some of the things we are teaching young female athletes are not instinctual but will greatly help reduce the risk of future injury if implemented correctly when the athlete starts participating in their sport again.

If you have had a ACL injury please make sure to work with your physical therapist to make sure you are working some of these aspects into your recovery.  If you have not had an ACL tear but you are a young female athlete, do some research on how to avoid injuries so you can excel in your sport without injury. One recommended source is the PEP Program which seeks to prevent ACL injuries.

For the full transcript on the chat visit –

About Dr. Sam Labib

Dr. Labib is an Emory Sports Medicine orthopaedic surgeon with special interest in problems and procedures of the knee, ankle, and foot. He is the head team physician for the athletic programs at Oglethorpe University, Spelman College, and Georgia Perimeter College. He is also an orthopaedic consultant to the Atlanta Faclcons, Georgia Tech and Emory University.

He has lectured both nationally and internationally at many orthopedic meetings. His research has been published in several journals, including JBJS, Arthroscopy, Foot and Ankle International and the American Journal of Orthopedics as well as numerous video presentations and book chapters. Dr Labib is Board Certified in orthopedic surgery with additional subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine Surgery.

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What to Do When It Hurts to Exercise

Exercising with pain can be a catch-22. Certain exercises can ease arthritis pain and keep stiffened joints limber. When you exercise, you strengthen muscles that help stabilize your joints. However, if you over-exercise, or go about it the wrong way, you can further damage the joints you’re trying to protect.

As a physiatrist at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, I work with athletes who make a living being active. When they’re hurt, they need to know when it’s best to exercise through the pain, or when they need to lay off for a while so that they don’t further injure themselves. So, how do you know when to exercise through the pain and when to give yourself a break?

My rule of thumb for exercising in pain: if the pain doesn’t get worse during exercise (and stays below a 3/10 on pain scale), and if you don’t feel increased pain later that night or the next day after exercising, then it was most likely a safe form of exercise.

On the other hand, if the pain becomes severe as you’re exercising, or you have an increase in pain after exercise, you probably shouldn’t continue with that particular activity. Additionally, if you experience any painful catching/locking (especially in the knee), don’t push through the pain. If these symptoms persist, or if the pain is present at night while you’re resting, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a physician.

Low-impact, aerobic activity is the best way to get exercise and minimize pain from orthopedic conditions. Stationary or recumbent bicycling, elliptical trainers, and swimming are great examples of low-impact ways to get your heart rate up.

Are you dealing with pain when you exercise? Are you unsure whether to work through it, or stop until you feel better? Share your experience with us. We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

About Kenneth Mautner, MD


Dr. Mautner is an assistant professor of orthopedics, as well as an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, serving both Spine and Sports Medicine. In addition to being a consulting physician for the Georgia Tech Athletics, he is head team physician for Agnes Scott College and team physician for Emory University Athletics. Dr. Mautner began practicing at Emory in 2004.