ACL Injuries and Prevention

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL is an important ligament that stabilises the knee. The role of the ACL is to prevent the tibia or shin bone from moving forward relative to the femur/thigh bone and to prevent buckling of the knee. We need our ACLs to control pivoting movements, ruptures occur when too much mechanical force is applied to it.

73% of ACL injuries occur in sports. Typically, in sports that involve jumping, rapid changes in direction and quick decelerations such as netball, football and rugby. Surprisingly 70% of injuries are non-contact. This means that the majority of ACL injuries could be prevented with appropriate leg strength and running and landing technique.

ACL reconstruction rehabilitation typically takes 9-14 months, 81% of people return to sport 24 months after surgery. Every month an individual delay their return to sport, their risk of re-injuring their ACL is reduced by 50%.

How can we prevent ACL injuries? Three ways.

  1. Increase your single leg sit and stand strength to 23 reps in a row. Research has shown that attaining this number of repetitions with good knee alignment significantly reduces the risk of injury
  2. Teach your legs to land without your knees buckling.
  3. Perform a good neuro-dynamic warm-up prior to sport. A neuro-dynamic warm-up is a style of warm-up which replicates optimal running and landing techniques required for a specific sport. examples include the ‘FIFA 11’ and ‘The Netball Knee program’.

If you are interested in preventing an ACL injury occurring, or if you require ACL rehabilitation, Book in and we can perform a thorough assessment.