Torn ACL didn't stop Olympian from fulfilling her dreams, don't let it stop you.

Imagine being a young, world-class athlete at the top of your game and on the path to the Olympics when tragedy strikes. You tear your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). In a stop and go running sport like soccer, that can be a career ending injury. Yet for the American women's soccer sensation Alex Morgan it wasn't. In fact, five years after sustaining that injury, Ms. Morgan went on to score the goal against Canada that sent the U.S. to the gold-medal game at the London Olympics.
 
Ms. Morgan underwent surgery to reconstruct her ACL her senior year of high school. After just five months of intense physical therapy, she was back on the field playing for the University of California at Berkeley. (Click here to read the entire article on Alex Morgan and her approach to injury-free soccer on Wall Street Journal Online.) 
 
Today, this story is no longer the exception. Under the care of competent orthopedic surgeons, many serious, and not so serious, athletes are enjoying complete recoveries from ACL tears. The procedure itself has become quite routine with patients only required to be in the hospital or surgical center for a few hours. Surgery to rebuild an anterior cruciate ligament is done with an arthroscope using small incisions. Arthroscopic surgery is less invasive. The benefits of less invasive techniques include less pain from surgery, less time spent in the hospital, and quicker recovery times.
 
If you believe you have damaged your ACL, don't hesitate to see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation. A orthopedist with a subspecialty in sports medicine may bring additional expertise or perspective to your care if you are an active individual.