are approximately 4-6 times greater in females compared to males. The female soccer player has the highest risk for ACL injury
. With the increase in the understanding as to why the female athlete is at greater risk, prevention programs have been developed to help prevent ACL injury in the female athlete.
Assessment of jump mechanics
(having the athlete drop from a one-foot-high box and explode into a jump when landing from the box) can be used to identify the at-risk female athlete.
It is important to teach females to use their knees as a "hinge" rather than a "ball and socket" to avoid injury. Improving muscle strength in both legs (plyometrics), improving agility and position sense also known as proprioception as well as core strengthening all help to prevent ACL injury.
In fact, core strengthening
surprisingly is one of the most important aspects to prevent ACL injury. Numerous prevention programs exist on the internet, but the one I favor most is at: http://smsmf.org/pep-program
, MD, specializes in sports medicine and practices out of our Fair Oaks office.