Doctor Talks MMA Knee Injuries

By Ben Leven
Joe Nicholson-US Presswire

With the year 2012 drawing to close, (pat yourself on the back for surviving the Mayan Apocalypse) comes the end of another year in MMA. We’ve had some laughs, we’ve had some cries and we had a consistently high number of injuries.

Over all, 2012 was a solid year for MMA. Yet, let’s not forget the flood of injuries that plagued major events and what was arguably the catalyst for Strikeforce’s demise. Why are there so many injuries in MMA today? What can we do to prevent so many injuries from happening in the future? interviewed Dr. Jonathan Gelber. Gelber is the founder of, a website that regularly updates injuries in the MMA world. Gelber offered his medical insight on Sherdog’s Radio Network Rewind show. Some of the things he covered were in regards to; increase in MMA injury and ACL injuries and prevention. To read and listen to the full interview click this link.

Gelber attributed an increase in injuries to over training, to meet the demands of increasing, scheduled fights.

“It used to be when Zuffa first was putting out the UFC in the earlier days you had maybe three or four cards a year. Now you have three or four cards a month. There’s that many more guys training. There’s that many more guys getting injured and there’s that much more news we’re hearing about it.”

                All athletes, professional or amateur run the risk of over training. Over training can be a debilitating syndrome, causing the body and the mind to fatigue. Without proper recuperation, the body will weaken, making it susceptible to injury and illness.

It would seem this year’s reoccurring MMA injuries are knee injuries. Again, here’s what the good doctor had to say on the matter:

“With mixed martial arts, a lot of grappling, a lot of twisting of knees certainly can predispose you to ACL injuries. The addition, though, is, I think, shooting in. It’s very interesting to me. I’ve been looking at a lot of PCL injuries lately, and the PCL, which is behind the ACL, is not very commonly injured. You hardly ever see that in your clinic practice, but you have actually been seeing that a lot in mixed martial artists.”

                I remember wrestlers were known for developing cauliflower ears and bad knees. Taking a shot with the knee was any good offensive wrestler’s bread and butter. But, constantly impacting the knee with force stresses the knee and can give away to ACL and PCL damage. In addition, to pressuring the knees with shooting, additional stress is added from various locks and holds.

With this abundance of injuries the sport of MMA has endured, what can we do to prevent injuries in the future? Gelber says there are a few things that we can do to prevent further injuries. There are certain plyometrics, to make your legs stronger and for building a solid foundation. Gelber also says modifying certain techniques, so that the larger muscle groups in your legs absorb more impact for the smaller ligaments in your knee.

These are but a few of the many ways to prevent long term injuries for a safer tomorrow, in MMA.



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