Unlike many orthopaedic issues, the risk of an ACL injury or tear does not increase with age. Instead, ACL tears are most closely linked to participation in sports like soccer, basketball, lacrosse and skiing where there are bursts of activity and sharp turns and pivots.
Who’s at Greater Risk for ACL Tears?
ACL tears do tend to be higher in:
Individuals ages 15 to 45 years of age
Younger people are most likely to have an ACL tear simply because they are more likely to be active and participate in sports
Women & Girls
Females are up to 8 times more likely than their male counterparts to tear their ACL due to differences in neuromuscular control (relative stronger quadriceps than hamstring muscles), pelvis and leg alignment, anatomic differences, increased ligamentous laxity and the effects of estrogen on ligament properties.
ACL tears are debilitating and terribly painful, but they are PREVENTABLE. Research has shown that 50 to 88 percent of all ACL tears are preventable, regardless of age or sex.
Preventing ACL Tears
You can prevent ACL tears by:
Getting an expert evaluation
Having a physician evaluate your knee function and provide a customized training program can help you improve knee control and alignment so you can jump, cut and land correctly, avoiding an ACL tear. Wake Orthopaedics offers a FREE youth injury prevention screening that includes a customized training program. Schedule an appointment today by calling 919-714-7153.
Practice what your training protocol
A good training protocol is designed to strengthen weaker muscles, improve flexibility and can be performed twice a week in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. Visit our injury prevention center online to see some exercises that can be used to prevent sports injuries like ACL tears.
About Mark Wood, MD
Dr. Mark Wood is board-certified in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and practices at Wake Orthopaedics. For further educational information, including the Wake Ortho injury prevention screening program and online appointments, please visit WakeOrtho.com.