Can ACL Injuries Be Prevented?Sep 27, 2018
Did you know that 70-85% of ACL injuries are typically non-contact? Or, that female athletes
have a greater risk of ACL injury compared to males playing similar sports?
It seems like every week you hear about another athlete who tears their ACL. In the NFL, 36
season-ending ACL injuries have been reported this year. Three took place this past Sunday,
including a non-contact ACL injury by 49er’s QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
What’s even worse is when it comes from a celebration…
A contact ACL injury seems to justify itself more so than a non-contact ACL injury.
These season-ending injuries can have a huge impact on an athlete. Not only is it a long and
costly process, but it can take a toll on you as an individual from a physical and mental
standpoint. Take it from someone who has had two ACL injuries himself.
I’ve even talked to parents who keep their kids out of sports due to the risk of an ACL tear. After
my first ACL injury, my mom begged me to stop playing football and cheer my team on from
the stands…HA! Love you Mom, but no way was that happening. I had to come back to play
my senior year and it was 100% worth it. My second ACL tear was non-contact and didn’t come
until six years later – which has fueled me on a path to help those who have suffered this same
So……Can ACL injuries be prevented?
Prevented? Not really. Reduced? Definitely.
Prevention means that we can stop something from happening, which means we can predict it.
We’re not quite there yet.
Reduction means we are making it smaller or less in amount, degree, or size. We have proof of
For simplicity's sake, you will still see prevention and reduction used interchangeably, but keep in
mind what we discussed above.
A powerful research study came out this year by Webster et al. 2018 - Meta-Analysis of Meta-
Analyses of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Reduction Training Programs.
It conclusively shows that 50% of all ACL injuries and 67% of non-contact ACL injuries in
females can be reduced with the simple implementation of 2-3x per week of injury
Some important components of these programs are:
Plyometric and Power Development
In later posts, we will break down these different components of a well-designed injury
At Athletes’ Potential, we design and implement these programs often to help our athletes,
whether you’re someone who has had their first surgery or an unsuccessful rehab experience. It
is our goal for the athletes we work with to return to their sport not only physically prepared, but
mentally as well. Please feel free to reach out to our Docs if you have any questions.
Dr. Ravi, PT, DPT, CSCS
Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today!
Remember, Movement is Medicine!