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As many athletes know, being diagnosed with a sports injury can be devastating. For Daniel Jackson, a receiver for Bishop Miege High School, it was not one but two injuries that kept him from playing his favorite sport for the entire 2018 season.

Taking a time out from football
During the first football game of the season on August 31, Daniel was sideswiped by another player, who hit his knee, causing it to cave in. The diagnosis? An ACL and MCL tear. On September 12, he had reconstructive surgery with Vincent Key, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at The University of Kansas Health System. Daniel was put on bed rest for 2 weeks before he could return to school. Three months later, he began physical therapy with Meghan Cassady-Kramer, PT, DPT, CSCS. After he completed therapy, she referred Daniel to Megan Bechtold, PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, who leads the ACL injury reduction program at The University of Kansas Health System Sports Medicine and Performance Center.

"After finishing physical therapy with Meghan, she told me about the ACL injury reduction program. Since I had already been injured, she thought I would be a good candidate for the class," says Daniel.

A program for the proactive athlete
It's because of athletes like Daniel that the experts at the Sports Medicine and Performance Center created the 6-week ACL injury reduction program. Bechtold recommends it for the athlete who wants to learn how to reduce the risk of an ACL or other sports-related injury in the future.

"While the program is recommended for a youth or high school athlete, anyone is welcome to join, especially those who have been injured. It really helps students gain a better understanding of the strength and conditioning exercises they should be doing. They also learn correct jumping and landing techniques, which is so important. We also help them identify injury risk factors and how to remedy them," Bechtold explains.

It's not just for football players
While football, basketball and soccer are considered high-risk sports for ACL injuries, cheerleading and dance are also on the list. Krista Logan knows firsthand what it's like to suffer a setback from her favorite activity.

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