HEALTHY LIVING

Torn ACL: Derrick Rose's And Iman Shumpert's Season-Ending Injuries Explained

04/29/2012 12:17 pm ET

NBA players Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert both suffered torn ACLs during playoff games Saturday afternoon.

The injury not only ends the postseason for Rose, a star for the Chicago Bulls, but likely leaves him unable to compete in this summer's Olympics, Forbes reported.

Rookie Shumpert, a swingman for the New York Knicks, who tore his left ACL and lateral meniscus, will likely be able to return in six to eight months, reports the New York Post.

The ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the ligaments in the knee joint that connects the upper leg bone to the lower leg bone, to keep the knee stable, according to WebMD.

A torn ACL most often occurs during sports with sudden stops or changes in direction, according to Mayo Clinic, like basketball, soccer and tennis. The ACL is also more likely to tear if the knee is bent backward, sidewise or twisted, which can often happen in contact sports, according to the NIH.

Many people hear a popping noise when the ligament tears. The knee will likely swell and feel unstable, and it can be painful to bear weight. Depending on the severity of the tear, doctors either recommend rehabbing the knee with an exercise training program or surgery to replace the torn ligament with a graft, either from the patient's hamstring or patella tendons, or from a donor, WebMD reports.

While it can be difficult to prevent contact in sports, there are some measures to take to protect against torn ACLs. The most important thing to do is stretch and strengthen the quad and hamstring muscles, according to WebMD.

A UCLA linebacker, Isaiah Bowens, also tore his ACL recently, and is expected to undergo surgery soon.

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