Physician Spotlight: David Yucha, M.D.
David T. Yucha, M.D., is a board-certified, fellowship-trained
orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician with Premier Orthopedic
& Sports Medicine Associates. He is on the medical staff of Crozer-Chester
Dr. Yucha earned his medical degree at Temple University School of
Medicine, in Philadelphia, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic
surgery. Dr. Yucha fulfilled his fellowship training in sports medicine at
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, also in Philadelphia.
Dr. Yucha enjoys giving community-based presentations to educate the
public. The following information is based on his presentation, “ACL Injuries:
Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management.”
“Over 100,000 ACL reconstructions are performed in the U.S. every year,”
Yucha explains. “There can be several causes of an ACL injury, but most are due
to the strain of sports activities in competitive and recreational athletes.”
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is found just underneath the
cartilage in the knee. The ACL is one of the four major ligaments in the human
“Female athletes are actually at an increased risk of non-contact ACL
injuries,” Yucha adds. “This is because women usually have a smaller muscle
size and strength, a smaller physical build and weight. Also, they have smaller
ACLs and a narrower knee. Hormonal differences can also increase their risk,
especially when women are going through the different stages of their menstrual
To prevent ACL injuries in athletes, physicians recommend certain
focuses during preseason training and warm-up sessions, such as propriceptive
conditioning (training the joint position), neuromuscular training (used to
teach your body better habits for knee stability), muscle strengthening and
knee flexes to train your body to land on your feet the right way.
A physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history is
step one in diagnosing an ACL injury. If the examination suggests a significant
injury, the doctor will recommend having a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
scan of the knee joint or to inspect damage to the ACL. For diagnosing partial
ACL tears, camera-guided surgery (arthroscopy) is usually more efficient than
“If the patient’s injury is significant, and they are returning to a
pivoting or jumping sport, ACL reconstruction is recommended,” Yucha says.
“Other injuries are normally treated effectively using braces, rehabilitation,
and modifying their level of activity. The patient’s age, activity level and
knee strength all affect their ability to cope with the injury.”
If reconstruction surgery is necessary, it can help to prevent further
knee injuries and can usually allow the patient to return to their desired
level of activity. Sixty to 80 percent of reconstruction surgeries improve pain
levels and improve overall function of the joint. Fifty to 65 percent of
revisions return to active sports participation.
It is important to discuss your symptoms with your physician to
determine the best course of action for you.
David Yucha, M.D. is on the
medical staff of Crozer-Chester Medical Center. He has office locations at
Crozer-Chester Medical Center and the Crozer Medical Plaza at Brinton Lake. For
appointments or referrals, please call (610) 876-0347.