Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a story on Giants’ player Domenik Hixon and the heart-breaking news of his ACL tear.
“Tuesday, the Giants' wide receiver found out he'd torn his anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in 14 months. He became the fifth Giant to tear that knee ligament since camp opened July 29 and that freakishly high number of what's considered a somewhat freakish injury is now threatening the Giants' season.”
Dr. Stein was asked to contribute to the article as an expert in the field of orthopedic injuries.
“’Wow, five?’ said Dr. Drew Stein, an orthopedic surgeon and former chief resident at NYU's Hospital for Joint Diseases. Stein worked with the Eagles while doing his fellowship in sports medicine and he said yes, the ACL is a very vulnerable piece of connective tissue. But five?
…The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the knee and the one most commonly torn. It's the one used to pivot, and when hurt, it's generally from a non-contact injury, Stein said.
‘It usually happens when you plant a foot, the foot is locked in the ground and then the whole body twists,’ he said.”
Both Domenik Hixon and Dr. Stein comment on the lockout affecting training time and thus leading to more injuries during the season.
“The spike this season ‘probably has to do with the whole lockout deal,’ Hixon said. ‘You're just not getting the same training.’
Stein said there can be truth in that; the summer's labor impasse stole minicamps and organized team activities and any element of surrounding muscle weakness can impact a ‘momentary event’ like this. Most camps open with muscle and tendon injuries, as bodies warm up. Stein said this "rash" of ACL injuries should lessen as the season progresses.”
The article discusses a few of the treatment options for ACL tears.
“The torn tendon can be replaced with one from the patient's own body, like a hamstring or a patellar, or with tendons from a donor. A donor tendon, from a cadaver, means the patient only has to rehab one part of the body and not also the one where the replacement tendon came from, but Stein said donor grafts may be a touch weaker and so most athletes don't go that route.
It's three months before the patient can get back on a treadmill and another month before he can start cutting or pivoting. The return for a corner or linebacker may be easier than one for a receiver or running back, Stein said.”
To read the entire story, click here.