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Q: Is there a way you can prevent future knee damage in young athletes?
Start by seeing a specialist such as a sports medicine doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer who can diagnose and treat weak muscle areas in the lower extremity. Commonly implicated muscle groups are weak hips and hamstrings, which can lead to poor landing mechanics and increase knee injury risk. The specialist you work with can identify ways to improve strength thereby helping prevent injury.
Current studies clearly show that specific types of training, such as jumping and landing exercises and learning to pivot properly, help athletes prevent knee injuries. These types of exercises are more beneficial when athletes start young, before reaching skeletal maturity so they develop correct habits that decrease the risk of injury.
Young athletes would benefit from preseason screening programs that identify knee injury risk factors in young “high-risk” athletes who would benefit from targeted training programs. One validated knee injury prevention program I commonly recommend is the Fifa 11 program: www.fifamedicalnetwork.com/lessons/prevention-fifa-11/
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Dr. Rahman Kandil is a fellowship-trained sports medicine Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in shoulder and knee surgery. Dr. Kandil treats a variety of bone and joint conditions including general orthopedic injuries, fractures, and ligament/muscle/tendon injuries. Dr. Kandil received his undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA and graduated in 2011 with multiple honors. Dr. Kandil completed both his internship and residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, where he received the Chief Resident of the Year award in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Following his residency graduation, Dr. Kandil further sub-specialized and completed his fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at Stanford University Hospital. Read More-->