Many of us feel it will never happen to us. However, an estimated 200,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur in the United States each year, making it the most common and disabling condition in sports medicine. Over the last 20 years the number of ACL injuries has increased by over 50 percent with females under the age of 20 being the fastest rising demographic to undergo reconstruction.
The ACL is a key ligament in the knee that acts as a stabilizer when cutting, running and jumping. Majority of ACL injuries occur via noncontact when the ligament is placed in a vulnerable position.
Research has found that risk factors for sustaining an ACL injury include hip weakness, impaired muscle and nervous system activation patterns and improper running and jumping mechanics. Many of these risk factors can be identified through functional and clinical evaluation and can be corrected through education and an exercise program. The Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy and the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy have found strong evidence that supports the implementation of ACL injury prevention programs that have been effective in preventing these injuries.
Fort HealthCare’s Edge Performance Training program has been focused on reducing the risk of ACL injuries by helping athletes identify areas of vulnerability and by implementing these programs into athletic training sessions and games. Edge performance training sessions are tailored specifically to each athlete’s needs and are instructed by Athletic Trainers and Doctors of Physical Therapy.
For questions regarding ACL injury prevention programs and how we can become involved at your high school please contact Emily Shepley via email or at (920) 568-6517.