ACL injury prevention in youth athletes

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries in children and teens are on the rise. The ACL is the ligament that provides stability to the knees. This can be a serious problem with youth athletes because this type of injury can directly impact the growth centers in the knee, leading to growth abnormalities like angulatory deformity or uneven leg length as well as premature arthritis later in life. Most ACL injuries are no contact, as opposed to direct collisions. The highest risk sports are ones that involve jumping, pivoting, and cutting like soccer, basketball, and football.

While there are several biomechanical factors that contribute to increased risk of ACL injury, the kinetic chain of the lower leg as a whole needs to be addressed. Fortunately, M43 Fitness owner, Scott Abramouski, has his degree in kinesiology! On top of his degree, he also has multiple certifications and over 7 years of experience. Over the course of those 7 years, Scott has helped to train many youth athletes. While he aims to help these young athletes reach their top performance, his ultimate priority is their safety. Any injuries while they are young can impact the rest of their life and potential athletic career. 

ACL injury prevention involves proper dynamic warm ups, jump training (or plyometrics), strengthening, executing motor patterns, and balance training. With quick movements involved in most sports, learning to control momentum, center of gravity, and rotation can be extremely beneficial. Many ACL prevention programs have reduced injury risk by up to 50 percent.

Sports participation results in 70 percent of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and the majority of these occur in 15 to 45 year olds. Approximately 70 percent of ACL injuries are no contact injuries that occur during a sudden change in direction with a planted foot (i.e., cutting) or stopping rapidly. In the United States there are between 100,000 to 250,000 ACL ruptures annually.
— “ACL Injury 101”, The American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine

If you know a young athlete that’s serious about their career, consider checking out M43 Fitness. Nothing is more important than making sure they succeed while prioritizing their safety and increasing the longevity of their active lifestyle.