An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury Risk Screening and Reduction Program for High School Female Athletes: A Pilot Study.
Kuntz A, Peters O, Bello A, Perkins R, Monti R, Murray L.
Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury causes physical, mental, and financial burdens. Therefore, it is imperative to screen, identify, and educate athletes who are at high-risk. The combination of screening and education could identify those at risk and potentially reduce future injuries.
Purpose: The purpose was to conduct a feasible community pre-season screening program for high school female athletes for the presence of known modifiable risk factors that predispose them to sustaining a non-contact ACL injury.
Study Design: Non-experimental prospective study
Methods: A convenience sample of 15 healthy female athletes were recruited from local high schools, consisting of 11 soccer players and four basketball players. A pre-season screening program was designed encompassing four stations that addressed modifiable neuromuscular and biomechanical risk factors including range of motion (ROM), jump-landing technique, strength, and balance. Athletes were categorized into high-risk versus low-risk groups based on cutoff scores previously established in the literature.
Results: Every athlete met the high-risk cutoff score for at least one extremity during the ROM screening, and some met high-risk cutoff scores for more than one ROM. Out of all four categories tested, lower extremity ROM demonstrated the greatest deficits.
Conclusion: This study identified athletes as having multiple modifiable risk factors that can be addressed with training and exercises. This supports implementing a pre-season program aimed at screening for injury risk factors.
Level of Evidence: Level 3