ACL tears are one of the most widespread and devastating injuries for athletes, impacting the likes of Tom Brady, Tiger Woods and Chipper Jones. While many athletes find that an ACL injury puts them out of the game for months, if not years, advances in ACL surgery are making it possible for sports stars to get back to their games faster. Football great Adrian Peterson recently made a tremendous recovery after ACL reconstruction, opening the season just eight months after having surgery.

Last December, Adrian Peterson suffered a serious injury, tearing both the ACL and MCL in his left knee. However, after ACL reconstruction surgery and months of physical therapy and rehab, the Vikings star made a stunning recovery in order to start the season with his team. As of November 15, Peterson led the league in rushing and had scored at least once in each of the last four games. While an ACL injury often destroys sports careers, commentators are saying that Peterson may be performing better than ever.

“Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings, has made a remarkable recovery, returning to elite level play as a running back just months after ACL reconstruction,” said Dr. Eric Millstein, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Beverly Hills. “While this is amazing to witness, athletes must be cautious about returning to competitive sports too early during their own recovery, thus risking repeat injury.”

The ACL is an important ligament in that it stabilizes the knee, allowing for lateral movement and bursts of speed. During reconstruction, the doctor will replace the ligament with a section of tendon from another part of the leg. When performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon, ACL reconstruction helps to relieve pain and swelling and restore mobility in the knee. And while ACL surgery can help athletes recover faster, Dr. Millstein cautions against returning to play too soon and risking another injury.

ACL surgery patients must undergo physical therapy to restore strength to the quadriceps and hamstrings. While Peterson’s story is an inspiring one, patients should always follow their doctors’ recommendations for returning to sports and other forms of physical activity after surgery, as resuming activity too soon could mean re-injuring the knee and delaying recovery further. Patients should also continue rehabilitation exercises until the knee is strong and stable. The speed of recovery will depend on the patient’s dedication to his or her rehabilitation.

If you’ve suffered an ACL injury, it’s important that you speak with an experienced orthopedic surgeon to determine the best course of treatment. A member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Dr. Millstein has been recognized as a Southern California Super Doctor on more than one occasion, and has extensive experience working with ACL injuries in both children and adults.

Don’t let an ACL injury put an end to your sports career or athletic hobby. Call (310) 595-1030 today or contact Dr. Millstein to schedule an appointment to learn more about ACL reconstruction.

Dr. Millstein

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