ACL Injuries: Prevention and Recovery

What is an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), and how do I Keep My Kids from Tearing Theirs?

KneeThe ACL and PCL are ligaments which criss-cross inside the knee joint, connecting the femur and the tibia. The ACL is designed to prevent the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur during stops, starts, cutting and jumping.

Injuries to the ACL are common and occur at alarming rates among young athletes. The risk is 4-6 times greater in women than men. Of NCAA women soccer players, more than 1 athlete in 10 suffers a serious knee injury.  Of high school athletes, the injury rate is more than 1/100, which represents more than 20,000 injuries each year.

Up to 70% of ACL tears could be prevented with proper injury prevention training. (Comprehensive plyometric training and dynamic warm up programs are detailed in chapters 5 and 6 of Fit2Finish: Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game.)

If you are serious about preventing ACL injuries, these links will help.

Prevention Warm Ups, Drills and Games

Designing a dynamic warm up

How to make your ACL prevention training successful

Know how to beat ACL Injuries

Agility course training game (video)

Dynamic warm up game for all ages (video)

Coaching ACL Injury Prevention

What coaches must do to prevent ACL injuries

Beating weak core muscles to save the knees

Is Caution the way to prevention?

Leap and hold (video) drill: Ages 8-18

Recovering from an ACL Injury

The $cost of an ACL

The hidden cost of an ACL

Get the best surgeon

Can ACL’s be repaired in children?

ACL recovery and return to sport