If you’re an athlete, chances are you’re working and training year-round, which means you are more likely to get injuries.
Your ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) connects your thigh to your shin and is one of the main ligaments that helps stabilize your knee joint.
ACL injuries are common among athletes because you are more likely to tear or injure your ACL when stopping suddenly and changing direction. In fact, ACL tears affect more than 200,000 people a year.
Let’s learn more about ACL injuries.
ACL injuries, or ACL tears, are common knee injuries in sports. ACL injuries are typically the result of three things:
- Stopping and changing directions quickly
- Direct contact to the knee from opponents on the court or field
- Landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting and/or landing on the knee that is over-extended
ACL Tear Symptoms
If you’ve ever had a torn ACL, you’ll quickly recognize the symptoms. First, you might feel a “snapping” deep within your knee, as well as a great amount of pain.
- Severe pain and swelling
- Loss of motion
- Unstable knee and unable to hold any weight
Other structures in your knee (meniscus or medial ligament) can also be torn or injured in addition to your ACL.
ACL Injury Treatment
ACL injuries are often repaired with surgery. After surgery, knee braces are used in order to relieve discomfort and provide support. The best knee braces for ACL injuries have compression to support the knee without interfering with mobility, which also increases blood flow and reduces pain.
Consult a doctor before seeking treatment for your injuries.
ACL Injury Recovery
Recovery for ACL injuries varies depending on the severity of the injury or tear. It can take anywhere from two to six months. If you are an athlete and are returning to practice or training, it could even take up to 9 months or more to get back to your pre-injury condition.
Most, if not all people recovering from ACL injuries wear a knee brace, especially if they are in a high-intensity sport.
ACL Knee Braces
Just like ice cream flavors, there are so many different types of knee braces to choose from.
- Prophylactic braces protect the knees from injuries during contact sports.
- Functional braces support already injured knees.
- Rehabilitative braces limit knee movement after an injury.
- Unloader/off-loader braces provide relief to arthritis patients with knee pain.
Key Features of Knee Braces for ACL Injuries
- Hinges. Does it have hinges or is it a sleeve? Hinged knee braces work best for preventing ACL and other knee injuries.
- Adjustability. Is it adjustable? An adjustable brace will allow you to achieve the comfort and support you need while you are recovering.
- Support. Does it offer firm support? Your knee brace should be firm enough to keep your knee well stabilized, but not so much that it completely limits mobility.
Pro Tip: Getting a brace that is specific to protecting your ACL reduces your risk of tearing.
Best Knee Braces for ACL Injuries
We have a full collection of knee braces for ACL injuries that are durable, lightweight, and specifically designed to keep you in the game.
medi Genumedi Pro Hinged Knee Support
medi PT Control II Patella Tracking Knee Brace
FLA Safe-T-Sport® Neoprene Hinged Knee Stabilizing Brace
DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop Knee Brace