The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most commonly disrupted ligaments in the knee. Despite an explosion of information on ACL tears and reconstructive techniques, little had been done in the prevention of such injuries. Female athletes, especially those involved in soccer, volleyball, and basketball have a 2-8x risk if sustaining an ACL injury. The reasons for the difference between male and females remain unclear, but many suspect a difference in neuromuscular firing patterns in the trunk, hip, and ankles. There also may be a difference in the intensity and quality during training sessions between male and female athletes.

Once a young athlete sustains an ACL tear and wishes to return back to competitive sports, a surgical reconstruction of the ACL ligament will be required to obtain a satisfactory outcome. Current surgical techniques and an aggressive accelerated rehabilitation program will return the athlete to sport within four-five months. However, the question remains how we prevent such injuries?

Previous and ongoing ACL prevention programs have made a significant difference in reducing the amount ACL injuries in young female athletes. ACL prevention programs appear to enhance body control and reduce ACL injury rate and increase athletic performance. These proven prevention programs activate protective neuromuscular response when at risk situations are encountered. The sport medicine team at Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., the team members at local physical therapy departments, and athletic trainers incorporate all the current techniques in ACL reconstruction and prevention, to include the current ACL Prevention program, which has demonstrated a 75% reduction in ACL tears.

For more information, please contact Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. 575-525-3535. Ask for workman’s compensation specialist Kelly Sanchez ext. 136 for an immediate appointment.

Daniel A. Romanelli, MD