Alarm on knee injuries

MUSCAT, OCT 30 – A top sports medicine expert has issued a warning about the rising number of knee injuries, especially the Anterior Cruciate ligaments (ACL) injuries in the Sultanate. “Lack of proper basic preparedness before playing a game like football is the real cause behind these injuries not physical contact as many would think,” Dr Mahmoud Shehabullah, Senior Sports Medicine Physician at the Ministry of Sports Affairs, told the Observer. Shehabullah, who has monitored the Oman sports injuries closely for nearly four decades, feels there is an urgent need to educate even the professionals about the chances of injuries while playing. “The general population is not at all aware of the principle requirements before playing football. They don’t bother of warming up, stretching or training. Also important are proper hydration, food habits, routine and discipline before taking to the ground,” the veteran expert said.

567 injuries till now
Dr Mahmoud said from January 2019 till today, 567 injuries have been registered at the Sports Medicine Department. “Of the 567 injuries, more than 300 cases are knee injuries and 175 are ACL tears of the knee. In September-October the ACL injuries were more than 60,” Shehabullah, who had accompanied Oman delegation to seven Olympics as team sports medicine physician, said. The Bangladeshi medical expert said the authorities should give high priority to teach and spread awareness of sports routine — the fitness and preparation especially warming up before games — among the school students.

“All those who play games should have the minimum knowledge about how to prevent injuries and learn the basic techniques of landing properly during the games, be it a fall or while controlling the ball,” he said. ACL tear occurs in non-contact situation when the athlete lands from an aerial tackle/pivoting or decelerating suddenly or suffer a direct kick on the knee by an opponent player. “The injury keeps the athlete away from the field for about eight months to one year. And an ACL tear requires lots of money for treatment also,” he said. The expert advises the general public to go for pre-participation medical screening before joining full-time sports like football, cricket or athletics.