Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of the ligaments that join two main bones and is placed in the center of the knee. ACL is a painful surgery with a long-anticipated recovery. Many people ask the same question in many forums again and again, “Can I play badminton after ACL surgery?”. Many players rush their return to this sport too soon, but then you are only running the risk of tear or re-injury in your ACL.
Can I Play Badminton After ACL Surgery?
Yes, you can play badminton after completely recovering from the surgery. It takes a lot of time to recover your ligament from the surgery. If you try to play this game, then there is a higher risk of re-injuries. It can severely affect your knees, and you might not be able to play again. It is better to avoid playing badminton after surgery and wait till you recover.
It is difficult to resist playing badminton if you passionately love to play this sport. Re-injury is the prior concern after an ACL surgery when you resume your game. The rate of getting a re-injury is too high. 18% of patients having ACL surgery got re-injuries. 47% of people got re-injuries in their first year and 74% in their second year after their surgery. The desire to return to play as soon as possible can lead to many problems. You need to heal properly and get recovered before returning to play badminton again.
How to Recognize an ACL Injury?
The ACL ligament tore off by sudden twisting movement. It is a very common injury you can get while playing badminton. The ligament gets torn while chasing directions in the game. While playing badminton, if you do not get yourself land properly and your knee gets twisted inwards, then it is more likely that you can get your ACL injured.
In some cases, you won’t even realize that you have torn your ACL. Sometimes, you can listen to the pop sound that means you have torn your ACL. Initially, your knee starts to swell, and you may or may not feel the pain. When you feel the pain, then it may be unbearable, depending upon the degree of the injury.
What Should You Do When You Got Your ACL Injured?
When you come to know that you have injured your ACL, then do not try to bear any weight on it, or try to stand on that leg either. Immediately get the ice and apply it to the injured area to reduce the inflammation. RICE is the treatment you can give yourself:
- Rest: It is essential to keep your injured muscle refrain from moving. The injured muscle is weak and vulnerable to get more injuries. Give rest for a few hours to heal it.
- Ice: Icing the injured muscle will relieve you from pain and reduce blood flow and swelling. Apply an ice pack for every 15-20 minutes and also, give rest to the skin to the room temperature between icing.
- Compress: To prevent fluid build-up, wrap an elastic bandage to minimize the swelling. Compression helps to immobilize the injured area and ease the pain. Do not wrap the bandage too tight as it can interfere with the blood flow. But if you got your bandage too tight, then rewrap it.
- Elevate: Elevation is another way of draining out the fluid from the injured muscle area and minimize the swelling.
How to Diagnose ACL?
For these types of injuries, you must consult your doctor to get cured quickly. He will x-ray your ligaments and recommend required medications. If your injured muscle is partially torn, then the doctor will put you on a special program for strengthening your muscles.
He may put a knee brace and then, surgery may or may not be required. If there is a full torn muscle, then surgery is necessary to replace the torn ACL. You cannot play as it will become more challenging for you.
How to Prevent ACL Injuries While Playing Badminton?
ACL injuries can be avoided if the muscles around your knee are more stable, strong, and flexible. You can prevent injuries by focusing on muscle and nerve control.
- Exercises must be done to increase muscle power, balance, and improve core strength and stability.
- Special focus on muscle strength and stability while exercising.
- Keep on practicing the right technique of landing after jumping.
- Bend your knees and hips while pivoting as it will reduce the pressure on the ACL.
- The muscles of hamstrings and quadriceps should be strengthened so that they work together to bend and straighten the leg.
- Do a lot of core stability exercises.
- Always stretch yourself after the play and warmup before the play for flexibility and mobility.
While landing after jumping, balancing is a must. So, you must do balancing exercises.
What are the Statistics of Return to Play After ACL?
63% of players who underwent the ACL surgery returned to play in their regular-session game after two season surgery. 43% of them had returned to their preinjury levels. According to the 2011 study, 33% of athletes returned to their sports at their preinjury levels of 12 months after the surgery.
What are the Statistics of Re-injury After ACL?
Re-injury after the surgery is very common. After surgery, one out of every four players return to their game and suffer a second knee injury. Most of the athletes sustained a second ACL tear within five years.
The Bottom Line
Your ultimate goal is to return to play badminton after ACL surgery. But, the fundamental question for many is, “Can I play badminton after ACL surgery?”. And the answer is yes, but you have to wait and recover properly to get back to play badminton. You cannot play the game too soon after the surgery. If you do so, then there are many chances to get re-injuries in your muscles.