At least 250,000 ACL surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. Like any other global healthcare issue, whether it’s diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, community prevention programs provide an opportunity to change the outcome and, by extension, reduce the burdens on society as a whole. This is why Dr. Adam Metzler, an orthopedic surgeon with OrthoCincy Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine who performs surgeries at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, spent two years creating a leading program for ACL and knee ligament repair in re-construction that helps patients in Northern Kentucky and beyond.
“It can be hard to get people to understand the importance of prevention. If you are serious about being an athlete, why not engage in routine maintenance to prevent injury?” says Dr. Metzler, who notes that an athlete can often miss up to nine months during a rehabilitative process from an ACL injury. “Parents know that when their child is injured, it may be close to a year before he or she is back on the field or the court.”
Dr. Metzler, who has a long history of working with youth athletes, has covered the sidelines in some way, shape or form for 15 years at both the high school and collegiate levels.
“I’m passionate about ACL injuries, the treatment, the science behind it, the evolution of treatments and the physical therapy involved in getting an athlete back to participating effectively,” says Dr. Metzler, who performs more than 100 ACL surgeries annually.
The ACL program is a collaborative effort through the Orthopaedic Institute at St. Elizabeth, which includes St. Elizabeth Healthcare, St. Elizabeth Physicians and OrthoCincy. Its mission is to be the leader in musculoskeletal healthcare for the region based on best practice medicine, science, research and excellent patient care.
“The ACL prevention program isn’t a novel idea, but we wanted to put our own spin on it for the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati community to help promote healthy athletes by reducing the risk of injury,” says Dr. Metzler.
Karen Tepe, Director of Orthopaedics and Neuroscience at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, was more than happy to participate in the project. As the parent of an athlete who experienced an ACL tear, Tepe knows firsthand how devastating this type of injury can be. “Our goal is to facilitate the prevention of injury by educating athletes on the appropriate exercises with a focus on proper technique. We are excited to provide this program to the athletes in our community,” says Tepe.
Data shows that an athlete’s rate of injury could potentially be reduced by 50% if they focus on appropriate strengthening, conditioning, balance control, neuromuscular control and improving jumping & landing mechanics.
Their ACL prevention program will be shared this summer through social media platforms to benefit not only local athletes but also people around the world. The program serves both youth athletes and weekend warriors. By combining the collective knowledge of the teams at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and OrthoCincy, they provide the best possible healthcare to all patients. This collaboration ensures that patients’ experiences and outcomes are the best in the region.