The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the four major ligaments that provide stability to the knee joint. These fibrous bands attach bone to bone and help control excessive motion of the knee joint and keeps the lower leg from sliding too far forward. Of the four major ligaments of the knee, ACL injuries are the most common. The majority of ACL repairs that occur each year are done on young athletes (under age 25) and female athletes.
What Causes an ACL Injury?
ACL injuries are common in sports that involve sudden changes of direction, such as football, soccer, basketball and volleyball. These sports involve cutting, planting and changing direction, in which the ACL plays a vital role, putting athletes, particularly females, at greatest risk of ACL injury.
Less than a third of all reported ACL injuries involve contact form an outside force such as an opposing player, goalpost or another object on the field/court. Over two-thirds are non-contact ACL injuries resulting from:
- One-step/stop deceleration
- Cutting movements
- Sudden change in direction
- Landing from a jump with inadequate knee and hip flexion (at or near full extension)
- Lapse of concentration (resulting from unanticipated change in the direction of the play)
How Do I Prevent an ACL Injury?
A strong concern of Tri-State Rehab Services is to prevent an ACL Tear and ACL Knee Injuries. It is our goal to improve awareness of the significance of an ACL injury in young athletes and to institute Sportsmetrics™ as an ACL prevention program in more sports organizations. Many team physicians now routinely recommend an ACL prevention program, especially for their female athletes.
Sportsmetrics™ is not just another plyometric training program. Jumping drills are used to teach the athlete to preposition the entire body safely when accelerating (jumping) or decelerating (landing). The selection and progression of these exercises are designed for neuromuscular retraining ranging from simple jumping drills (to instill correct form) to multi-directional, single-foot hops and plyometrics with an emphasis on quick turnover (to add sport-like movements).
Recent studies reveal that young female athletes are four to eight times more likely than boys to suffer a serious non-contact ACL injury.
Performing maneuvers with sound mechanics decreases the likelihood of an injury, and it is also essential to maximizing sport performance. A solid foundation of strength, coordination and overall physical conditioning is required for athletes to attain their highest potential in their sport-specific skills. Train with Sportsmetrics™ to reduce your risk of injury AND enhance competitive athletic performance.
ACL injuries usually come at a very high cost to the participant and their family. The cost of the medical treatment alone can easily run thousands of dollars.