Going from an exhilarating time playing a sport or activity to being in crutches is an unfortunate event that more and more students are experiencing this year at EMU. You can plainly acknowledge this by seeing all of the many students crutching around campus to their classes or the cafeteria. But after talking with the physical trainer here on campus, the numbers have far exceeded the usual amounts of ACL tears.
There are, so far, six reported injuries related to ACL tears. Physical trainer Mike Downy says that there are usually 1-3 reported tears per year. He also says that the injuries happened in various sports to both male and female students varying in age.
“Injuries occurred in games, practice, intramural activities, and personal pick-up games, so not all were produced by intercollegiate sports,” reports Downey. As the physical trainer for the school, he tends to the many students after they have been injured: “I would hope we would have zero [injuries] each year.”
He then addressed the unusually high number of students who have been injured and added, “I certainly look forward to returning back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.”
First-Year, Gabri Williams, who tore her ACL this past soccer season, reports, “I went to do a high kick and my leg got pushed in a horrible direction. When I run [now], I cannot run that fast, because I do feel some pain in my leg, and sometimes if I stand on my leg for too long without sitting down, my leg will have some pain in it.” Williams has not yet had ACL surgery and this is actually her second time tearing her ACL.
An ACL tear is a very painful injury, and after surgery (usually arthroscopic), there can be a long recovery time ranging from a couple months to a year. Not all ACL injuries require surgery, and physical rehabilitation is also an option.
“It doesn’t give me any problems when walking around campus, but I wanted to go on the ski trip and wasn’t able to because of my knee. I can’t do any intramural sports, and I can’t run at all. I have always been sporty all of my life. I’ve been playing soccer for ten years and now can’t play,” said Williams.
The limitations and problems of these injuries on students are continuing. Prevention techniques include muscle strengthening, stretching, and warming up before physical activities. Whether playing varsity, intramural, or recreational sports, students should consider the likelihood of this injury and take steps toward prevention. Those who have been injured would agree that it is worth the effort to take the neccessary precautions.
-Alicia Calkins, Feature Editor