Can you tear your meniscus wakeboarding?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the ligaments of the knee. ACL tears are among the most common wakeboarding injuries and account for 31% of the wakeboarding injuries treated by orthopedic surgeons. ACL tears occur primarily when wakeboarders jump or fall and can result from knee hyperextension during a fall. Wakeboarding presents a high risk of knee injuries.

Common mistakes, such as keeping your legs straight or locking your knees, further increase the risk of injury. To stay safe, keep your knees bent at all times. If diagnostic images show that the tear is within the outer third of the meniscus, it may be able to heal on its own with the RICE treatment method (rest, ice, compression, elevation), followed by physiotherapy exercises that stabilize the joints. Although the prevalence of 42.3% reinforces the significant risk of ACL tear in wakeboarding, it is difficult to compare it with other high-risk sports.

The survey questioned participants about their history of torn ACL while they were wakeboarding and asked them to describe the mechanism of the injury and treatment. In some cases, returning to sports after a meniscus injury may mean returning to a modified level of play to protect a knee that has permanently lost some of its inherent strength and stability. However, sometimes, the RICE approach and physical therapy cannot restore all the strength, stability, and functionality of the meniscus. Since it's not unusual for the pain of a torn meniscus to come and go, it usually worsens when the joint is under pressure, many athletes are tempted to overcome the pain and continue playing or training.

Instead, it may need to be trimmed to prevent further rupture, or it may need to be completely removed and replaced with a donor meniscus transplant. The prevalence of ACL tears in this data set, at 42.3%, is the highest reported in the literature on wakeboarding. Most of the numerical data published in the literature refer to the incidence of ACL as “tears per 1000 exposures”, and the exhibition refers to practice, the game or the day of the skier. Your ability to return to sports after a torn meniscus depends on several factors, such as the severity of the injury and the quality of the treatment plan.

The meniscus can be vital, but they are also vulnerable to injuries that a meniscus can tear during any movement that puts excessive pressure on the joint or causes it to exceed its normal rotational range of motion. The prevalence of ACL tears in this data set, at 42.3%, is the highest reported in the literature on wakeboarding and one of the highest for any sport.

Jeanie Spaun
Jeanie Spaun

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