ACL Injury Prevention

 

Under 15s have seen a 924% increase in ACL surgeries between 1996 and 2006….

…But, during the same time the general population only experienced a 37% increase!

This incredible statistic fits with our experience. Sadly many of these young people do not return to pre-injury level of performance or achieve their full potential. Many professional athletes, even with potentially unlimited resources, do not return to competitive levels. In-fact research published in 2015 showed that only 60% of ACL reconstructions returned to pre-injury level in their sport at 2 years!

With such drastic statistics what can we do to reduce the risk of injury?

Part 1, and part 2 of a recent blog post discuss the question of ACL injury prevention in more detail. One of the most valuable wellness services we offer is a screening service using our professional video analysis technology, and the latest research. The Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) is a scoring tool which is combined with video analysis to help identify high risk movement patterns. In 2015  this tool has been shown in a research paper to be a valid means for predicting ACL injury, particularly in soccer players and other high risk sports. The LESS can help us define an athlete as low or high risk. The video below shows the motion that we are analyzing:

In the above video the analysis highlighted three things:

Knees dropping inward of the foot is a predictor of risk for ACL tear

ACL screening: feet relative to knees

Knee flexion on landing is an element of the Landing Error Scoring System

ACL screening: knees on landing

 

  • Not enough knee flexion
  • Too much rotation at the foot
  • Knees falling inside of the medial foot

When combined with a thorough physical examination the LESS can be used to make recommendations on stretching, strengthening, footwear, and exercises that encourage improved neuromuscular control. That final component is most important, as we can see in the blog post, as recent research suggests that 26% of non-contact injuries could be prevented with neuromuscular programs.

 

In the case above, although there are some faults, this young lady scored 4/17 which falls in the low risk category. Physical examination showed the faults were occuring due to over-pronation, which may be correctable by better footwear. These faults can also be seen due to weak or poor control of the gluteal muscles, but this was not seen in this case.

If you play a high risk sport, or you have seen friends and family affected by ACL or other lower extremity injuries, consider contacting us for an injury screen. We have the technology and the experience to help you!

 

Get your ACL wellness examination today

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