The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


Dr. Merrick Wetzler shares information about ACL health

Izzy Alvarez (’25)

The following story is based off of an interview with Dr. Merrick Wetzler, an orthopedic surgeon at South Jersey Orthopedic Associates who specializes in sports medicine.

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is the major ligament in the knee that controls rotary stability, which is the rotation of the lower leg on top of the upper leg. It also controls the anterior translation of the lower leg on the upper leg. Most people, but not all, when tearing their ACL hear a pop and feel pain in their knee to know they are hurt.

Though anyone can tear their ACL, females are much more likely to do so. This is because women have a wider pelvis to hip ratio. If a woman were to jump and land, her knees would land inwards, which makes her predisposed to ACL tears. There are exercises for females to do specifically to be proactive about ACL tears by retraining themselves to land with their legs straight.

“Females have a two to four times chance of tearing their ACL as compared to their male counterparts,” said Wetzler.

Story continues below advertisement

There are different options for repairing an ACL: standard reconstruction, old tendons, and ligaments, or cadavers. Many athletes will use their tendons in a process known as auto-grafting. Alternatively, some athletes will use a different individual’s tendons in a process called allograft transplantation.

“They all have their different risks and benefits and so forth. The most popular one is bone-patellar tendon-bone and then followed by the quadriceps and last by the hamstrings,” said Wetzler.

ACL tears are most common in sports that involve cutting and twisting like soccer, football, basketball and lacrosse. That said, it can happen to anyone. Many of the effects of an ACL tear are long-term.

“Once you tear your ACL, the risk of tearing your other ACL is increased. It is not greatly increased, but it is increased. A lot of times what we do when we rehab them is we also rehab the other knee to prevent ACL tears,” said Wetzler.

Everything involved in the long-term injury of tearing an ACL causes mental and physical health issues. Though hard work is crucial throughout recovery, making a recovery to where you were in your sport or fitness in life in general is possible. It is important to go diligently to physical therapy and to be careful with your mental health. There are many people to talk to about sports injuries who understand the feelings associated with them.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Julia Sitnick
Julia Sitnick, Eastside Sports Editor
Julia Sitnick is a junior and one of the Sports Editors. In addition to Eastside, she can be found running cross country or at the track. She loves hanging out with her friends and family, going to the beach, and watching Netflix.

Comments (0)

All Eastside Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *