Recent attention has focused on prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, especially in young females who participate in high-risk sports.
Successful interventions consist of a multi-component program that include a combination of the following:
- High-intensity jumping plyometric exercises
- Biomechanical analysis with direct feedback to the athlete about proper position and movement patterns, including cutting and landing techniques
- Strength training, especially of the hamstring and gluteus maximus muscles
- Proprioceptive training, such as use of a wobble-board, to improve muscle strength, balance and reaction times
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Successful programs have been initiated at least 6 weeks prior to the sports season, followed by an in-season maintenance program that may replace the traditional warm-up.
In addition to changes in training, changes in footwear may decrease the chance of ACL injuries. Shoes with longer or a higher number of cleats seem to increase the risk of ACL injuries.
While some athletes wear knee braces to prevent ACL injuries, current clinical evidence does not support their use.