Phone: (480) 750-0303 | Fax: (602) 631-3162
Request An Appointment

ACL awareness for high school athletes

“I do ACL surgery for a living, but obviously we have an interest in educating the community and if we can prevent an athlete from being injured that’s certainly our preference to do that,” said OrthoArizona sports medicine specialist Shelden Martin.

Martin is also the head team physician for the Arizona Rattlers.

He tries to bring awareness to this condition with his annual Rattlers ACL Injury Prevention Clinic at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Valley student-athletes, coaches, physical therapists and athletic trainers got a chance to listen to Martin’s presentation and learn how exercises from the Spooner Physical Therapy crew can help in preventing ACL injuries.

“This is the patient population that has the highest rate of ACL injuries,” Martin said. “Football players, soccer players and really that young female category between the ages of 15 to 25, they’re the most vulnerable.”

“Our goal is to get all those athletes out on the field,” said Torrey Foster, Spooner Physical Therapy Scottsdale clinical director. “When we look at the reason it gets so much attention is the duration it takes to get back can be anywhere from six months to a year that’s a long time.”

“This is a dedication that’s constant to be working hard for that amount of time and to make sure that your doing that to perform well to minimize risk of injury again,” Foster continued.

Spooner Physical Therapy is another partner in the ACL injury prevention clinic with OrthoArizona

“Many people miss out on hitting all three planes of motion when it comes to the training,” Foster said. “The exercises that we do to prevent an ACL injury are the exercises to some degree at different levels that we do for rehabilitation as well.”

The three planes of motion Foster is talking about are sagittal (front to back), frontal (side to side) and transverse (rotational movements).

Doing this during training can increase an individuals range of motion and prevent injuries.

“This is the first time I’ve had a chance to be in a room with the professional and understand precisely what’s going on, ask questions, ask follow-up questions and learn current research and of course now, I’m more zeroed in on the preventive side,” said Excel Soccer Academy coach Corbett Hess.

Hess plans on bringing some of what he learned at the clinic into his teams’ warm-ups.

“We’re not going to be able to do all of those things in a particular night, but over the course of a training curriculum that we’re hitting all three of those planes and making sure that we’re doing what we can as coaches to protect our athletes,” Hess said.

The student-athletes not only got a chance to learn about preventing ACL injuries, the clinic included a tour of the arena and watching the Rattlers in action.

“These athletes want to play sports,” Martin said. “They don’t understand what the ACL is and why it’s torn. I think increasing that awareness and education can potentially help these kids decrease injury rates.”

Contact Dr. Martin if interested in having an ACL Injury Prevention Clinic at your school or club organization.

About Shelden Martin

I've had the privilege of working with many professional, collegiate and high school athletic teams. I am currently the head team physician for the 2012 AFL World Champion Arizona Rattlers. I have also presented research both nationally and internationally and published extensively in peer-reviewed literature.