Clinic Works to Prevent Serious Knee Injuries

Published 07/15 2014 11:41PM

Updated 07/16 2014 12:00AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Fred Shonkwiler of Spine & Sport Physical Therapy's noticed a trend in athletes over the last few years.

"We are seeing way too many ACL injuries."

Shonkwiler estimates that 250,000 to 300,000 athletes will suffer major knee injuries in the next year alone, so he teamed up with B-Fit Sports Performance to start an ACL injury prevention clinic.

The camp puts athletes through workouts aimed at improving their range of motion, and prepares their bodies for quick cuts and turns.
"What these movement patterns are doing is introducing every possible movement pattern there is," Shonkwiler said. "By telling the body 'this is how we need to be able to move,' whatever situation you get into on the court or on the field, your body can react and say 'I've been there, I've done that.'"

A study by the Loyola University Medical Center says that ACL injuries are eight times more likely to happen in female soccer and basketball players.

St. Joe native Kylee Williams splits time between both of those sports, and she's putting in work now to avoid going down that road later.

"It's a huge injury for a girl, and it's just been happening," Williams said. "I'd rather not sit out a year and have to go through what they're going through because I've seen it."

"Some injuries are not preventable," Shonkwiler said. "Contact, football for instance, sometimes you're going to get hit from the side and that knee's going to give. It's the non-contact injuries that we feel like we can make a huge benefit on."

According to Shonkwiler, these workouts are more effective when the athletes start them at a younger age.

Bode eighth grader Hayley Kruse's not only improving her movement, but understanding the mental side as well.

"I feel a lot more intelligent with it, because you learn all of your bad habits of, I've been twisting the wrong way when I can get there twice as fast if I twist the correct way. It's helped me learn what to do and what not to do."

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