Prevention of ACL injuries in children and adolescents

The number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries reported in athletes younger than 18 years has increased over the past 2 decades. Reasons for the increasing ACL injury rate include the growing number of children and adolescents participating in organized sports, intensive sports training at an earlier age, and greater rate of diagnosis because of increased awareness and greater use of advanced medical imaging.

ACL injury rates are low in young children and increase sharply during puberty, especially for girls, who have higher rates of noncontact ACL injuries than boys do in similar sports. Intrinsic risk factors for ACL injury include higher Body Mass Index (BMI), subtalar joint overpronation, generalized ligamentous laxity, and decreased neuromuscular control of knee motion.

ACL injuries often require surgery and/or many months of rehabilitation and substantial time lost from school and sports participation. Unfortunately, regardless of treatment, athletes with ACL injuries are up to 10 times more likely to develop degenerative arthritis of the knee.

Safe and effective surgical techniques for children and adolescents continue to evolve. Neuromuscular training can reduce risk of ACL injury in adolescent girls.

According to  a clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics neuromuscular training programs can cut the risk of a serious ACL injury and should be recommended to at-risk young athletes, especially girls.

The theory is that during the growth spurt that is part of puberty, a burst of testosterone helps boys get bigger muscles to go along with their new larger frames, says Cynthia LaBella, lead author of the report and a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. "Girls don't get that burst" or the resulting bigger muscles, she says, which makes it harder to control their new, taller bodies. But their muscles can be trained.

A host of different approaches used in the preseason, active season or both, have been studied for their ability to prevent injuries in sports including soccer, basketball and volleyball. The report cites a 2013 analysis of existing research that found a 72 percent lower risk of an ACL injury in female athletes aged 18 and younger who used the programs.

The authors of the AAP report say the successful routines included plyometric training — progressively more difficult jumping exercises — instruction on proper technique and feedback on using the right form. Programs that included strength training were among the most effective, though some of the successful routines didn't include strength work.

While these programs were designed specifically to prevent ACL injuries, studies show they can also stave off other lower leg injuries like ankle and knee sprains, says LaBella. She hopes this report will encourage coaches and parents to seek out the programs. "We still see people who are unaware of them, or who are unwilling to change their usual routine," she says.

But persuading schools and coaches to use them can be tough, says Timothy McGuine, a sports medicine researcher at the University of Wisconsin. "It's one thing to know what to do, and it's another to actually do it," he says. Many coaches say they lack the time and space to put injury programs into practice, or they have difficulty keeping it up over time, he says. What would really help? McGuine says a program that could be done in less than 10 minutes, two or three times a week, that would cut the risk of leg injuries and was also proven to increase performance – say, boosting vertical jump, which would help sell them to parents and coaches.

See more in the 'Parenting' section


Ronaldden RonalddenSL said...
[url=]tips and methods to help you write a great personal statement College Essays and Personal Statements[/url]
Posted: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:00:12 GMT

Comment on this article

Login to submit a comment


  Discover Card Miles Application


What we offer

GajGal is an expanding community of mothers helping mothers. Our motto “Get a Job | Get a Life” is based on the belief that for mothers wanting to get back into the workforce, finding a job with “the right level” of flexibility, empowers working mothers to live life on their own terms and better control their own destiny.
GajGal aims to address this “new reality” through four core components:

  • 1. Job Search and Matching tools to streamline finding the perfect fit for flexible work arrangements.
  • 2. Access to Benefits that in the traditional work environment have been provided by full time employers. GajGal helps to provide a critical mass of members to ensure access to a range of benefits options that we are continually working to expand and improve on.
  • 3. Working Mother Community to provide access to news, blogs and articles of interest and importance to working mothers and a social networking community that working mothers can interact with and draw on for support.
  • 4. The Entrepreneur Zone is for mothers aiming to start their own business and expand on the concepts of working mothers helping working mothers succeed.

Success stories

GajGal Testimonial

Shayne Duke
“Using your Benefits link made it easy to select from a wide range of health insurance offerings and narrow down the various plans available that best fit my needs. Being able to make a side by side comparison of the details further helped me make an informed decision on a plan with great rates. The application is swift and uncomplicated”

GajGal Testimonial

Amy Rogers
“ WOW this is a fantastic idea aimed at a true need. I have had a hard time preparing to go back to work after staying home with my two kids for the past 4 years. I am so excited to start adding my requirements and get started on the search. The Latest News and Benefits are an excellent idea. I would come here to read this even if I wasn't looking for a job right now”