What Are ACL Tears So Common Amongst Athletes? - New Jersey ACL Tear Specialist

Jan 19, 2024

ACL Tear

ACL tears are common amongst athletes, especially in female athletes. Garden State Pain & Orthopedics specializes in sports related knee injuries, including ACL tears. Read more to learn about ACL treatments, recovery, and why ACL injuries are so common.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments in the knee. It is a tough band of tissue that connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and plays a crucial role in stabilizing the knee joint. The ACL helps control the back-and-forth movement of the knee and provides stability during activities like running, jumping, and changing direction. Garden State Pain and Orthopedics provides comprehensive personalized healthcare plans for all knee and sports related injuries, including ACL tears. 

Why are ACL tears common amongst athletes? 

ACL tears commonly occur during sports activities due to a combination of factors including:

  • Sudden Stops and Changes in Direction: Sports that involve abrupt stops, rapid changes in direction, or pivoting movements put significant stress on the knee joint. These actions can strain or twist the knee, leading to an ACL tear.
  • Jumping and Landing: Jumping and landing, especially with poor technique, can cause excessive force on the knee. Awkward landings or incorrect positioning of the leg upon landing may result in ACL injuries.
  • Contact Sports: In sports where there is a risk of collision or direct impact to the knee, such as football or soccer, there is an increased likelihood of ACL injuries due to external forces applied to the joint.
  • Muscle Imbalances and Weakness: Weakness or imbalances in the muscles surrounding the knee can contribute to ACL injuries. Proper strength and conditioning, especially in the quadriceps and hamstrings, are crucial for stabilizing the knee.
  • Biomechanical Factors: Individual factors, including anatomical variations, joint laxity, and alignment issues, can influence the risk of ACL injuries.
  • Gender Differences: Studies have shown that females are more susceptible to ACL injuries than males. This is attributed to differences in anatomy, hormonal factors, and neuromuscular control.

It's important for athletes to engage in proper training, conditioning, and injury prevention programs to minimize the risk of ACL injuries. Additionally, education on proper techniques and awareness of body mechanics can contribute to injury reduction during sports activities.


How long does it take to recover from an ACL injury? 

The recovery time for an ACL tear can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the individual's overall health, the chosen treatment approach, and the extent of rehabilitation. In general, ACL tear recovery involves multiple stages:

  1. Immediate Post-Injury Period: During the first few days after the injury, the focus is on reducing swelling and inflammation. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are commonly recommended.
  2. Pre-Surgery Rehabilitation: If surgery is chosen as the treatment option, pre-operative rehabilitation is often conducted to improve range of motion, reduce swelling, and strengthen the surrounding muscles.
  3. Surgery (if applicable): ACL reconstruction surgery may be recommended, particularly for athletes and individuals with severe injuries. The surgery is typically followed by a recovery period.
  4. Post-Surgery Rehabilitation (4-6 months): Rehabilitation after ACL surgery involves a structured program to regain strength, stability, and range of motion. Physical therapy sessions are crucial during this phase.
  5. Return to Sport or Normal Activities (6-12 months or more): The timeline for returning to sports or normal activities varies. Athletes may require a longer recovery period, often around 6-12 months or more, before safely returning to competitive sports. Modern innovation with remedies such as PRP-Therapy (Platelet-Rich Plasma), stem cell therapy, and other regenerative medicine have shown to increase recovery speed. 

It's important to note that not all ACL tears require surgery, and some individuals may opt for non-surgical approaches, especially if the tear is partial or the individual's lifestyle doesn't demand a high level of knee stability.

Recovery is highly individual, and factors such as compliance with rehabilitation exercises, overall health, and the extent of the injury influence the timeline. It's crucial for individuals to work closely with healthcare professionals, including orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists, to create a personalized rehabilitation plan and monitor progress throughout the recovery process.

What treatments does Garden State Pain and Orthopedics offer? 

Garden State Pain and Orthopedics offers ACL reconstruction surgery, along with non-surgical treatments for ACL tears. While ACL reconstruction surgery is a common treatment for ACL tears, there are alternative options, especially for individuals with partial tears or those who may not require surgical intervention. It's important to note that the choice between surgical and non-surgical treatments depends on various factors, including the severity of the injury, your activity level, and your overall health. Dr. Deepan Patel, Orthopedic Surgeon at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics, offers:

  • ACL Reconstruction Surgery
  • Bracing
  • Activity Modification
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections:
  • Stem-Cell Therapy

It's essential to consult with orthopedic specialists like Dr.Patel to provide the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific circumstances. The decision between surgical and non-surgical options should be made collaboratively with healthcare providers, taking into consideration factors like your age, lifestyle, activity level, and the nature of the ACL injury.

You can schedule an appointment by selecting the “Book Now” button, or learn more about our practice by visiting our services page. 

Learn More About US


Orthopedic Providers:


Dr. Deepan Patel, MD - Orthopedic Specialist

Dr. Patel practices in Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ Jersey City, Clifton, West Orange, and Edison locations and specializes in sports injuries, tendon repairs, joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery, and tends to all injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle. He offers innovative treatment options for common sports-related injuries, including ACL tears, meniscus tears, and labral tears.


Dr. Scott Hanauer, MD - Foot and Ankle Specialist

Dr. Hanauer is located in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange, and provides treatments for all injuries related to the foot and ankle. Achilles ruptures, bunions, bunionettes, hammertoes, fractures, and ligament reconstruction are commonly treated by Dr. Hanauer. He also specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, flat foot and cavus foot reconstruction, and ankle and midfoot fusions.


Matt Jensen, PA - Orthopedic Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant Matt Jenses helps patients with injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle, and works out of Jersey City, Clifton, Edison, and West Orange. 

Pain Management Providers:


Dr. Dev Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Dev Sinha specializes in pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics integrating physical and behavioral therapies, medications, and the most innovative, minimally-invasive procedures. He is available in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison. 


Dr. Neil Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Sinha is especially interested in treating cervical and lumbar pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and post-laminectomy syndrome. He also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex regional pain syndrome, facial pain, and headaches. Dr. Neil Sinha is available in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.


Dr. Jahnna Levy, DO - Pain Medicine Physician 

As an osteopathic physiatrist, Dr. Levy believes in a multifaceted and holistic approach to pain management. She treats each person as an individual, formulating a systematic treatment plan to restore function, reduce pain, and improve their quality of life. Along with neck, back, and joint pain, Dr. Levy also treats vein conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ locations in West Orange, Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison. 


Dr. Saurabh Dang, MD, MBA - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr Dang offers multiple therapies for the treatment of chronic pain including: Intrathecal drug delivery system implantation, Dorsal Column Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Dorsal Root Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Insertion of interspinous spacer for spinal stenosis, SI joint arthrodesis, kyphoplasty, minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild procedure) for spinal stenosis, and percutaneous tenotomy among others to treat chronic pain. 


Dr. Dipan Patel, MD - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. Dipan Patel specializes in Botox® for chronic pain disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorders, and headache and chronic migraine. He also specializes in complex regional pain syndrome, joint pain, and post-laminectomy syndrome at four of our office locations in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.


Dr. Andrew So - Pain Medicine Physician

Dr. So specializes in neck pain, back pain, spine pain, post-laminectomy syndrome, headache pain, migraine pain, joint pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neuropathy, acute, and post-surgical pain syndromes, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), amongst others in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange. 


Tyler Duggan, PA - Pain Medicine Physician Assistant

Tyler Duggan is a nationally certified physician assistant who specializes in pain management. He believes in a multimodal, evidence-based strategy for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain utilizing the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques when necessary. Tyler is located in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison, New Jersey. 




Address: 1117 Route 46 East, Suite 301, Clifton, NJ 07013

Phone: 973-777-5444



Address: 25 South Main Street, Suite 12, Edison, NJ 08837

Phone: 732-376-0330


Jersey City

Address: 631 Grand Street, Suite 2-100, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Phone: 973-777-5444



Address: 226 Middle Road, Suite 4, Hazlet, NJ 07730 

Phone: 732-376-0330 


West Orange

Address: 443 Northfield Ave West Orange, NJ 07052

Phone: 732-376-0330