Recent attention has focused on prevention of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, especially in young females who participate in high-risk sports.

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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

See Simple Exercises to Restore Proprioception and Advanced Exercises to Restore Proprioception

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.

Further Reading: Common Running Injuries