How to Prevent ACL Injuries

Dr. Nikhil Verma is a shoulder, elbow and knee specialist at RUSH Orthopaedics in Chicago, IL. In this interview, Dr. Nikhil Verma explains how to prevent ACL injuries and ACL injury prevention techniques for young athletes. ACL injuries are becoming an epidemic in the United States. Some publications report over 400,000 ACL injuries occur each year and are continuing to increase rapidly in female athletes under 20 years old.

Basic warm-up plyometrics, which is a series of muscle contraction activities, along with strengthening activities and agility activities are a number of ACL injury prevention techniques for athletes. Today, sports medicine physicians are able to identify patients who are high risk for sports injury and those who are at a low risk for an ACL injury. Dr. Verma can take athletes who are in the high injury risk groups and teach them specific exercises to move them into the lower risk group and ultimately decrease the number of ACL injuries that are happening.

The first step in how to prevent ACL injuries involves an injury assessment. We will film the athlete doing the high risk activities in order to slow down the movement to identify high risk and low risk patients. Once those have been identified a series of exercises that involve core and leg strength a used as ACL injury prevention.

To learn more about how to prevent ACL injuries, ACL injury prevention and the Knees for Life campaign, please visit: Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury (ACL Injury) Overview.

Related: ACL Reconstruction Surgery