ACL Tear Prevention and Diagnosis

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014 AT 5:25 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Being physically active often means that movement is an integral part of your daily lifestyle. Physical activity has been shown to have health benefits for all stages of life. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for children and adolescents, being physically active has a positive impact on heart and bone health and can improve muscular fitness. During your adult life, physical activity can lower risk for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Physical activity can also improve cognitive functioning in older adults, as well as reducing their risk of falling down. This month we raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity, and discuss ways in which we can work to avoid one particularly common sports injury, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, while we stay active this year.

A new report says that certain training methods can significantly reduce a young athlete’s risk of serious and potentially debilitating knee injuries. The ACL provides the body with stability to the knee. ACL tears are on the rise among American children and teens, with girls being affected most commonly. After puberty, girls do not usually develop more powerful muscles as their body size increases leading to injury, according to the article published online April 28, 2014. An ACL tear is often caused by a sudden twisting motion. With specified training methods, it is being reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics that the risk of ACL tears can be reduced by as much as 72 percent. The report emphasizes that the focus should be on prevention, due to ACL injuries often having long-lasting effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a list of ACL injury prevention resources

If an ACL tear is suspected, your doctor may send you to receive diagnostic imaging at a radiology facility such as Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C. At Park Avenue, our musculoskeletal radiologist, Amy Liebeskind, MD, is an expert in interpreting sports injuries in NYC. Dr. Liebeskind boasts an impressive background of educational and professional achievements. A musculoskeletal radiologist is a highly specialized medical doctor who is an expert in diagnosing and interpreting radiological images of the musculoskeletal system, the system that provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body. Dr. Liebeskind is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and is also a member of the American Roentgen Ray Society, Radiological Society of North America, Americares-Global Medical Advisors Board and the New York Roentgen Society.

When evaluating an ACL tear, your doctor may recommend x-rays to look for any possible fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be requested to evaluate the ACL, checking for evidence of injury to other knee ligaments, meniscus cartilage, or articular cartilage. An MRI examination is able to visualize soft tissue, for ligament and tendon injury, providing valuable information for diagnosis and surgical planning that x-rays alone would be unable to provide. Of equal significance is the ability for physicians to use MRI to avoid unnecessary surgery and more invasive diagnostic procedures.

One benefit of MRI versus other imaging modalities, especially for younger patients, is that MRI poses no risk of radiation exposure. The images are acquired through magnetic resonance, or using a very strong magnetic field. Electromagnetic energy is released when exposing a patient to radio waves in a strong magnetic field which is then measured and analyzed by a computer producing two and three dimensional images. The strength of the magnet is measured in units called teslas.

At Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C., we offer a state of the art Open 1.5 Tesla MRI. Traditional MRI examinations can sometimes be considered uncomfortable examinations, particularly for patients that are claustrophobic. The ultra-short bore on our Open MRI provides for the maximum openness and patient comfort without compromising clinical results. In addition, the table can be lowered to 18 inches from the floor for easier patient access. At Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C., we understand that you should not have to sacrifice quality for comfort. For more information on the diagnostic tools available at Park Avenue Radiologists, P.C., visit us online.

To schedule your radiology examination with us today, call 212-888-1000, email, or schedule online.

For more health tips, benefits of physical activity, radiology news, and more connect with us. Join our discussions with patients on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


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