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ACL Tear- Explaining Buffalo Bills Linebacker Von Miller’s Knee Injury

ACL Tear- Explaining Von Miller’s Knee Injury

We all remember Buffalo Bills’ linebacker Von Miller sustaining a knee injury on Thanksgiving Day of 2022 against the Detroit Lions. Physicians initially thought it was a minor injury that would be healed up within a few weeks- but Von underwent surgery in December of 2022 to treat a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the same knee where he had an ACL tear during the 2013 NFL season.

Even now, almost a full year later, Von Miller is still on Injury Reserve, but according to ESPN, he should be able to start playing week five of this season. This just goes to show how serious (and painful) ACL tears can be, but with the support of a great physical therapist, recovery is possible!

What Is an ACL Tear?

ACL tears are often associated with sports injuries or high-intensity activities. ACL stands for “anterior cruciate ligament.” It’s one of the sturdy bands of tissue that join the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). There is also a patella, or the knee cap, that sits on top of the joint to provide protection.

The knee is a very complicated place, with three bones and four ligaments that control the movement of the knee. Two ligaments line the outside of the joint, known as collateral ligaments, and control the side-to-side motion of the knee. Another two ligaments are inside the knee joint itself - the anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament, both of which work together to control the front and back motion of your knee.

An ACL tear is when this internal ligament that controls motion is injured. The most common way that an ACL is injured is from a sudden pivot or cutting movement during high-intensity activities that involve sudden stops, jumping, and landing — e.g., basketball, soccer, football, and downhill skiing. This is how Von Miller injured his knee originally.

When an ACL tear occurs, many people hear or feel a "popping" sensation in their knee. Your knee might feel unstable, swell, and become too sore to support weight if you’ve experienced an ACL tear.

What Are the Treatment Options?

With an ACL tear, depending on the severity of the injury, you might need to see an orthopedic doctor who may recommend a conservative care option like physical therapy. You can also consider seeing a physical therapist directly.

The severity of your ACL tear and your level of normal activity will determine your physical therapist’s plan of action. Controlling your pain and swelling with different techniques is often the first step in the treatment process. Physiotherapy, medication, and, in the more severe cases, surgery are all ACL treatment options. Luckily the talented physical therapists at BC + PT are more than happy to help you on your healing journey. With a variety of techniques, and the knowledge and ability to answer your questions, the physical therapy team at BC + PT will be beside you as you recover from your sports injury.

What Should We Expect from Von Miller?

Well, Von Miller underwent exploratory surgery last December in Dallas, TX, to correct the meniscus and clean up the ligament. That’s when specialists discovered ACL damage that wasn’t noticeable from the MRI scans in earlier weeks, hence ending his season. Of course, the BC + PT Team is so excited and looking forward to seeing Von Miller back out on the field soon. We have been rooting for a speedy and effective recovery, and can’t wait to see him rack up a lot of sacks!


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