Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies

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An estimated 80,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears occur annually in the United States. The highest incidence is in individuals 15 to 25 years old who participate in pivoting sports. With an estimated cost for these injuries of almost a billion dollars per year, the ability to identify risk factors and develop prevention strategies has widespread health and fiscal importance. Seventy percent of ACL injuries occur in noncontact situations. The risk factors for noncontact ACL injuries fall into four distinct categories: environmental, anatomic, hormonal, and biomechanical. Early data on existing neuromuscular training programs suggest that enhancing body control may decrease ACL injuries in women. Further investigation is needed prior to instituting prevention programs related to the other risk factors.

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