Self-management

Prevention

Proper training and exercise can help reduce the risk of ACL injury. A physical therapist, athletic trainer or other specialist in sports medicine can provide assessment, instruction and feedback that can help you reduce risks. Programs to reduce ACL injury include:

  • Exercises that strengthen leg muscles, particularly hamstring exercises, to ensure an overall balance in leg muscle strength
  • Exercises to strengthen the core: hips, pelvis and lower abdomen
  • Training and exercise for proper techniques and knee position in jumping and landing
  • Training to improve techniques for pivoting and cutting

Gear

Wear footwear and padding that is appropriate for your sport to help prevent injury. If you downhill ski, make sure your ski bindings are adjusted correctly by a trained professional so that your skis will release appropriately when you fall.

Wearing a knee brace does not appear to prevent ACL injury or reduce the risk of recurring injury after surgery.

Dec. 22, 2015
References
  1. Friedberg RP. Anterior cruciate ligament injury. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Oct. 10, 2015.
  2. Frontera WR. Anterior cruciate ligament tear. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 22, 2015.
  3. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00549. Accessed Oct. 15, 2015.
  4. ACL injury: Does it require surgery? American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00297. Accessed Oct. 15, 2015.
  5. Shea KG, et al. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons evidence-based guideline on management of anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2015;97:672.
  6. Knee arthroscopy exercise guide. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00300. Accessed Oct. 15. 2015.
  7. Stuart MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 28, 2015.
  8. Peterson JR, et al. Anterior cruciate ligament injury: Mechanisms of injury and strategies for injury prevention. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2014;25:813.
  9. ACL injuries in young athletes. Stop Sport Injuries. American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/acl-injury-prevention.aspx. Accessed Nov. 24, 2015.