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Risks & Prevention of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

Risk Factors

There are many risk factors identified for primary (first time) ACL injury. Here’s a list of risk factors:

ACL geometry (anatomical variations) , Intercondylar notch width (the width of where the ACL attaches at the femur), Age, Gender, Hypermobility, Knee laxity, Excessive foot pronation, genetic factors, BMI, menstrual cycle phase, knee stability, knee pain, shoes, friction, synthetic surfaces, player position and ankle bracing.

Of all of the above, ONLY knee stability, foot pronation, BMI and ankle bracing are modifiable, i.e. they are controllable, and are worth your time to consider in your quest to reduce your risk of primary ACL injury. The others are (for the most part) non-modifiable, and so are probably not worth worrying about. 


Prevention of ACL injuries

ACL prevention programs have been around for over 15 years, and they have been researched heavily to establish whether they are effective or not.

Do they work? Yes. Definitely. However the main findings in studies where the program was not effective was compliance. Ie. The program isn’t carried out as often as required for effective reduction in risk.

Lesson to be learnt? It is only effective if it is actually completed as prescribed by the physiotherapist. Days, sets, and reps. All of it. 


What can you expect from us at 20/20 Sports Physio?

We will provide a thorough assessment of your knee and lower limbs, and analyse your movement. This will establish your risk of an ACL injury. 

After the findings, if you have an elevated risk of sustaining an ACL injury, we can prescribe an individualised prevention program relative to your needs and interests.

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