Study Reveals Cheaper Method of Uncovering Potential ACL Injuries

July 19, 2010

Physicians may have a new low-cost, in-office, tool to help identify athletes at increased risk for ACL injuries, according to study results presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting.

Physicians may have a new low-cost, in-office tool to help identify athletes at increased risk for ACL injuries, according to study results presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.

"ACL injuries are devastating to athletes, and the risk factor for female athletes is much higher," said Greg Myer, sports biomechanist at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, in a press release. "In an earlier study, we used motion analysis systems to measure and calculate torques on ligaments which accurately predicted which athletes are high-risk, but this method was expensive, labor intensive and required sophisticated equipment. So in this study, we looked for a low-cost, in office, simpler method to predict which athletes are high-risk."

The method measures the tibia or shin bone with a standard measuring tape and an athlete’s weight in combination with motions of the knee during landing captured with camcorders. The method helps identify those that may be prone to developing an ACL injury.

"This method may be used as a training camp protocol in partnership with team clinicians or set up and run in the athletic training setting," said Myer. "Current evidence indicates that athletes identified as high-risk for ACL injury using this approach are more responsive to neuromuscular training aimed at reducing this risk factor. This tool can also be used to get high-risk athletes into appropriate interventions to further reduce their potential of injury risk which may increase both the efficacy and efficiency of future interventions aimed to prevent ACL injury in female athletes."