Last night in the first game of the season, Alex Rance ruptured his ACL while landing after attempting a mark. This is a season ending injury, as it will require surgery for him to return to football and the rehabilitation after surgery is usually at least 9 months.

Typically, the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) ruptures when the leg is in a “knee in, toe out” position. This is when the foot is planted, the femur (thigh bone) internally rotates and a valgus force is placed on the knee. Commonly this is when landing and trying to change direction at the same time, as was the case with Alex Rance.

People at higher risk of ACL injuries are:

· Athletes participating in any sports which involve change of direction (particularly twisting and turning), with or without contact

· Female athletes

· Hypermobile athletes

· Anyone who was previously had an ACL injury (or a family member who has)

If you believe you are at a high risk of an ACL injury be proactive and get involved in a preventative program. At Hawthorn Physio we developed the Prevent TEARS program, which involves an assessment of the individual’s biomechanics and an individualised program they can complete independently to reduce their risk of ACL injury.