MECHANISMS OF ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURIES IN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES

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Abstract

Background

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most serious sports injuries. However, few studies have surveyed the details of ACL injury mechanisms in high school athletes.

Objective

To investigate the mechanisms of ACL injuries among 1,000 ACL injuries in high school athletes by retrospectively reviewing the Japan Sports Council notification data.

Design

Epidemiological survey and retrospective study.

Setting

Young athletes (15–18 years old) belonging to sports clubs (soccer, basketball, judo, handball, volleyball) in high school (10th–12th grade). These clubs had a high incidence of ACL injuries in young Japanese athletes.

Patients (or Participants)

We collected data on 100 ACL injuries for each sport and sex for 1,000 athletes with injured ACL.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors)

We divided these data according to mechanisms such as contact (direct and indirect) and non-contact (play- and surface-related). Indirect contact was defined as an external force applied to the athlete but not directly to the injured knee. External force was involved in the injury process.

Main Outcome Measurements

We compared the mechanisms of injury between sexes and specific sports.

Results

Non-contact injuries were greater than contact injuries in ball games, except in male soccer. Most judo players experienced contact injuries. Over half of contact injuries were indirect in ball games. Surface problems caused 2.4% of ACL injuries.

Conclusions

We clarified the mechanisms of ACL injuries in young athletes. Detailed investigations of ACL injury mechanisms and prevention programs are needed.

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