16 Mar Brihden’s back in action
A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was the last thing promising young rugby league player Brihden needed in 2021. The accident put a hold on his promising season, landing the then 14-year-old in hospital for surgery.
Orthopedic surgeon, Doctor Sheanna Maine sees injuries like Brihden’s all too often.
“We’re seeing this more frequently in our younger athletes than we would like. Brihden had a full thickness rupture of his ACL with associated damage to the lateral meniscus (shock absorbing cartilage) in the knee. If he experienced further injury or instability, he would have been at risk of developing further cartilage damage and possibly arthritis down the track.”
ACL injury is caused by the overstretching or tearing of the ligament in the middle of the knee. The ACL prevents the shin bone from sliding out in front of the thigh bone and if torn or stretched can cause popping, buckling and swelling of the knee, making it difficult to walk or apply pressure.
The Aspley Devils Junior required surgical reconstruction of the ACL as well as lateral tenodesis to stabilise and support his knee.
Football, tackling and extreme sports are the most common reasons for an ACL injury. It can happen at any age, and if left untreated can impact other ligaments or cartilage in the knee.
The key to avoiding such injuries, while enjoying sport, comes down to a good warm up routine.
“Prevention of ACL injury is not being taken seriously enough in our school and community sporting programs. A simple warm up routine to help activate the muscles which control and stabilise the knee can reduce the incidence of ACL injury by as much as 60%. Ideally every young person who participates in sport should start with a 10-minute prevention warm up. It could save the health care system millions of dollars over the next 5 to 10 years.” Sheanna said.
After more than a year of rehabilitation, Brihden has made a full recovery and returned to the field representing the Devils in Under 18s Division 2 AND Division 1. His mother Shona expressed her joy at seeing him back in action.
“Brihden has returned to rugby league and is whole again.” she said. “He was also selected to trail for the Mal Meninga U18s squad this year and played for the Queensland Murri Carnival and the NSW Koori Knockout. It’s been a huge achievement for him.”
Congratulations Brihden and we wish you all the best for a successful footy season.
If you have experienced symptoms of an injury or pain in your knee, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3177 2779.