The NFL season has started and with the start of a new football season comes dozens of new injuries happening each week.  This week, we’d like to take the time to discuss Saquon Barkley’s most recent injury: an ACL tear.


Saquon Barkley tears his ACL

Saquon Barkley tears his ACL


ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament and is one of the four ligaments in your leg that provides the knee with stability.  The ACL works as a synergist with the hamstrings, the muscles in the back of your leg, to prevent the bone in the lower leg (Tibia) from travelling forward on the bone in the upper leg (Femur).

On top of working with the hamstrings, the ACL also works to prevent the tibia from excessively rotating on the femur.  Due to its part in preventing that action, the ACL is commonly associated with rotationally based injuries, often happening in many athletic events.


  1. There is an estimated 150,000 – 200,000 ACL injuries happening every year in the United States. Most of these injuries happen with some level of a rotational component.
  2. In respect to the amount of injuries, there are approximately 100,000 ACL reconstruction surgeries happening every year in the United States. It is important to consult with a physician and/or surgeon to decide if ACL surgery is right for you.
  3. Young women are 2x – 8x more likely to suffer an ACL surgery than young men. It is hypothesized that this occurrence is due to women having typically more lax ligaments and a less conducive hip/knee structure for athletic events.
  4. Football has the highest incidence of football per year out of any sport in the United States. Other sports that have higher incidences of ACL injuries include rugby, basketball, and soccer.
  5. It can take up to 2 years to fully recover from ACL reconstruction. Regardless of the recovery time, “back to sport” protocols can have athletes back to participating in their respective sport as early as 6 months.

While ACL injuries happen often in the United States, there are many ways in which you can prepare your body so that you never have to experience one.  For more information, get in touch with us over at Portsmouth Physical Therapy and we can discuss your best course of action.

Published September 30, 2020 | Posted in NFL Injury Spotlight.