Tom Brady - ACL Tear

Tom Brady
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Tom Brady is a professional football player currently playing for the New England Patriots. Brady played college football at the University of Michigan and was drafted in 2000 by the New England Patriots in the sixth round. He was the 2007 NFL Most Valuable Player and has twice been named Super Bowl MVP.

The Injury

In the first game of the 2008 NFL season, Brady was injured when he was stuck on his knee by Kansas City Chiefs defender Bernard Pollard. Brady collapsed to the ground in obvious pain and had to be assisted off the field by the athletic trainers. After the game, Brady was examined and had an MRI and was diagnosed with a season-ending knee injury. Brady had sustained an ACL tear as well as an MCL tear.

ACL Tears

ACL tears are common sports injuries. The ACL is one of four major knee ligaments that control stability of the knee joint. Without an intact ACL, participants of sports, such as football, often complain of symptoms of knee instability. The ACL does not heal itself when completely torn, and therefore, surgical reconstruction of the ligament is the usual treatment.

The Rehabilitation

After the ACL has been reconstructed, the athlete still has a long road ahead. Rehabilitation after ACL surgery takes six to nine months before athletes can return to sports. While professional athletes are able to devote more time to rehabilitation and can, therefore, accelerate their rehab, the demands of their sport are also higher than nonprofessional athletes. It is unusual to return to sports before six months from the time of surgery. Therefore, NFL football players who sustain an ACL tear are likely injured for the remainder of the season.