PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
To reduce your chance of an ACL injury, follow these tips:
- Improve your conditioning. Training programs that have been shown to be effective in helping to reduce the risk of ACL injuries typically include strengthening and stability exercises, aerobic conditioning, plyometric exercises, "jump training," and risk-awareness training. Exercises that improve balance also can help when done in conjunction with other training exercises.
- Strengthen your hamstrings. Women athletes in particular should make sure to strengthen their hamstring muscles as well as their quadriceps.
- Use proper techniques. If your sport involves jumping, learn how to land safely. Studies have shown that if your knee collapses inward when you land from a jump, you are more likely to sustain an ACL injury. Technique training along with strengthening of some of the hip muscles can help to reduce this risk.
- Check your gear. In downhill skiing, make sure your ski bindings are adjusted correctly by a trained professional so that your skis will release appropriately when you fall.
Wearing a knee brace has not been found to be helpful in preventing ACL injuries.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Oct. 25, 2012.
- Friedberg RP. Anterior cruciate ligament injury. http://www.uptodate.com /index. Accessed Oct. 25, 2012.
- ACL injury: Does it require surgery? American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00297. Accessed Oct. 25, 2012.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Oct. 25, 2012.
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. http://www.sportsmed.org/Patient/Sports_Tips/AOSSM_Sports_Tips_Sheets. Accessed Oct. 25, 2012.