How to Deal With an ACL Tear, According to Experts

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The first real snowfall of the season is always exhilarating. If you’ve ever been injured in the snow, however, fluffy white flakes can be bittersweet. Knee injuries are the most common for skiers, and although you can tear more than one ligament at a time, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (or ACL) is the most common — and it often never heals. The good news is that research shows a little advance training is effective in preventing injury.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament Shutterstock

PREVENTION

Studies with female soccer players (who are at a higher risk of ACL tears than men in field sports) show that preseason training helped prevent injury, up to a 30-50 percent improvement. But there’s a catch: Although the stats favor men in sports like soccer, both men and women have an equal statistical chance for tearing ACLs while skiing, making preseason training important for everyone.

“It is not just your leg muscles, quads and hamstrings that you need to work, but it’s your core strengthening that makes a huge difference,” says physiotherapist Barb Clemes. “If you watch Bode Miller’s famous save, you can see him keeping the core so stable he could bring his ski back onto the snow.”