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Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee are immediately debilitating and can cause long-term consequences, including the early onset of osteoarthritis. It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of all possible risk factors for ACL injury to identify individuals who are at risk for future injuries and to provide an appropriate level of counseling and programs for prevention.

At Physio Tullamore (Edgewater Physiotherapy Clinic) we have expert knowledge in the anatomy, function and preventative strategies for minimizing knee injuries.

Ultimate mechanism of ACL injury is that the forces applied to the ligament are greater than its ability to sustain the load (Lloyd, 2001).

The mechanisms of injury can be split into two main groups;

1. Non Contact (80% of ACL injuries)

2. Contact

Why are females 2-8 x more at risk of ACL rupture?

Gender specific changes occur at the onset of puberty that predispose females to ACL injury coupled with the adoption of poor landing strategies;

1. Males and females increase in strength in linear fashion until puberty

2. Males gain a dose of testosterone, ILGF and growth hormone and accelerate

Female typical landing strategies;

1. More upright with less trunk lean with a more quad dominant pattern

2. Land with increased peak knee valgus

3. Have reduced hamstring strength and therefore greater Quad:Hamstring ratio which increases the anterior tibial shear stress.

4. Less and later glut med activation

At Physio Tullamore we have compiled some videos of ACL ruptures across different sports:

1. Michael Owen – Soccer

2. Leigh Halfpenny – Rugby (forward to 1.05 minutes)

3. Robbie Grays – AFL

Recent studies have concluded that upto 55% of people suffering from ACL rupture do not return to pre injury level of activity – Despite extensive interventions aimed at improving rehab and preventative outcomes (Arden CL 2008). Over the next few weeks Physio Tullamore we will be compiling blogs on the prevention, management and recovery for post op athletes suffering with this injury.

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