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Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2017 Sep;10(3):281-288. doi: 10.1007/s12178-017-9416-5.

ACL Injury Prevention: What Does Research Tell Us?

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Select Medical, 6712 Falls Ridge Lane, College Grove, TN, 37046, USA.
Northern Arizona University- Phoenix Biomedical Campus, 435 N. 5th St.- 6th Floor, Phoenix, AZ, 85004, USA.
Pinnacle Sports Therapy, 425. E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Phoenix, AZ, 85024, USA.



Mechanisms leading to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury have been identified, yet re-injury or a secondary injury persists in the athletic population. The purpose of this review is to identify risk factors associated with ACL injury and investigate programs to prevent injury.


Faulty mechanics during dynamic movement that cause excessive valgus force at the knee increases the risk of ACL injury. Faulty mechanics may be a result of lateral displacement of the trunk, unequal limb loading, and lack of control to avoid the valgus knee position. Altered movements that place the ACL at risk are best identified in a fatigued state; however, could be recognized in a standard dynamic assessment. The faulty movement patterns are modifiable and should be addressed in an injury prevention program. Prevention programs include various modes of exercise such as plyometrics, neuromuscular training, and strength training. This review concludes that those programs which utilize neuromuscular training and strength training at a young age show the most promise in reducing ACL injuries. An ongoing thorough dynamic examination is necessary for all athletes while adjusting the intervention program in order to decrease the risk of ACL injury.


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); Knee injury; Neuromuscular training; Plyometrics; Prevention program; Strength training

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