What's the cause of ACL injuries in athletics?

Only a small percentage of these injuries are caused by direct contact with a person or object.

Athletes practicing contact sports are at high risk of suffering an ACL injury. Typically, any sport involving high-velocity movement can represent a risk.

The mechanism of an ACL injury is often associated with deceleration combined with cutting, pivoting or sidestepping maneuvers, awkward landings or noncontrolled play.

Studies have suggested that female athletes are at higher risk than their male colleagues. This is attributed to various reasons such as anatomical differences, differing hormone levels, physical condition, and neuromuscular control. Also, the different jumping and landing mechanics can lead to an increased angle at the knee joint that yields sharper forces at the female athlete’s knee.

Common causes for an ACL injury

  • a direct blow to the leg
  • an abrupt twisting of the leg
  • hyperextension
  • a blow to the back of the knee
  • the use of improper mechanics when running, jumping
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Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/

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