No More Tears

How child's play can help prevent ACL injuries

Horacio Salinas / Trunk Archive

400% Percentage increase in ACL tears treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia from 1999 to early 2011.

In the second half of a September football game, Nick Denove, 11, went out for a pass. He cut toward the middle of the field as he had done so many times before--the Naples, Fla., youngster had been playing Pop Warner football since he was 5. This time, however, Denove collapsed to the ground like a hunted duck. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the tissue that gives jocks knee stability when they play sports. "Are you kidding?" Nick's mother Lisa thought when she heard the news. "Torn ACLs happen to pro athletes or weekend warriors."

And, it turns out,...

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