Orthopedist Questions ACL Injuries

Why do skateboarders get ACL tears?

I'm always hearing about ACL tears and other skaters, and my son just started skateboarding casually. Is this a risk for him? He's had knee pain but nothing too worrisome. He's 15 years old.

5 Answers

ACL tears are usually non-contact injuries, meaning the ACL can be torn without actually having another player or athlete involved. The mechanism of injury is usually a significant twisting type motion through the knee on a planted foot. Essentially, the lower leg twists one way and the upper leg twists the other way, leading to the tear. Many sports, including skateboarding, require this type of stress frequently across the knee leading to ACL tears in these athletes.

Steven M. DeLuca, DO
ACL tears are caused by twisting of the leg while the foot is planted. This often happens as a skateboarder is trying to prevent himself from falling. He plants the foot while the rest of the body twists.

Hope it helps!

Dr. Bose
Any sport where there can be an awkward landing or where the foot can get caught and the knee twists is susceptible to ACL tears.

Ron Noy, MD
Skateboard participants are at risk for knee injuries as a consequence of falling off or landing awkwardly when coming off the board. Riding the board is pretty safe itself. However, as the saying goes it the sudden stop at the end of a fall that hurts. More important than knee and orthopedic injuries is head protection. Just as with bicycling and skiing people who skate board should wear a helmet.
I hope this helps.
Kevin Jon Lawson MD
Major reasons for ACL injuries hyperextension of the knee as well as muscle imbalance and lack of flexibility. During development often times proprioception (nerve development) and balance is not as it should be and this makes one more likely to tear of the ACL. I would recommend routine stretching as well as working on core strengthening as an attempt to improve less chance of having an ACL injury. Also things such as plyometrics (box jumps and landing) can be very helpful.
Good luck!