Anterior cruciate ligament tears occur in tens of thousands of athletes every year. Our program can help limit these injuries and keep athletes healthy and on the playing field.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries most commonly occur in sports such as soccer, football, basketball and lacrosse. This type of injury can happen when an athlete is making quick cutting movements, decelerating or jumping. Women are four to six times more likely to tear their ACL, and current research suggests that one in four athletes who have had an ACL injury may sustain a second injury.

ACL injuries can result in:
  • A higher risk to develop early osteoarthritis
  • Inability to return to your sport at the same level of competition
  • Loss of playing time and possible loss of scholarship
  • Muscle weakness and significant loss of function


The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has developed a unique ACL Injury Prevention Program based on our extensive research that identified certain movement patterns associated with ACL injury risk. Participation in this program may reduce the risk of injury by up to 70 percent.

Our licensed sports physical therapists, athletic trainers and certified strength and conditioning specialists work together to target and address each athlete’s deficiencies. They do this by combining renowned research, clinical expertise and evidence-based training techniques to work on jumping mechanics and proprioception (awareness of body position).

Who is at Risk?

ACL Injury Risk Factors

You may be at risk for an ACL injury if you are an athlete who:
  • Demonstrates faulty jumping biomechanics
  • Is female (four to six times greater risk of ACL injury compared to males)
  • Participates in running and cutting sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, football or lacrosse
  • Previously had a general knee or ACL injury
Some risk factors for ACL injury cannot be changed. These include structural and hormonal factors such as wider-set hips, long thighbones and shinbones, and general laxity or “looseness” of ligaments that keep joints stable.

Modifiable risk factors, such as poor neuromuscular control, can be addressed with proper training through our program.

Program Details

Program details

Athletes are individually tested, before and after the program, to assess jumping mechanics, and hamstring and quadriceps strength. The program is then tailored to your specific needs. It includes twelve 45- to 60-minute individualized neuromuscular training sessions over a four- to six-week period, designed to correct biomechanical risk factors associated with ACL injury. It will do this by:

  • Emphasizing repeatable techniques and cues that participants will remember after they leave the program
  • Focusing on tasks that can improve participants' trunk control, including a variety of plyometric, balance and trunk and leg strengthening exercises
  • Training participants on the proper jump-landing mechanics

Note: The program consists of high-intensity exercises, so someone with a current injury should not participate. If you have had an injury or surgery and have been cleared to participate in sports, you can participate in the program.

Program Cost

  • Individuals: $395 per person
  • Groups of 2-3: $355 per person
  • Groups of 4 or more: $225 per person
  • All fees are payable at the initial program session

ACL Risk Tests

ACL Risk Evaluation Examples

Drop Vertical Jump

Example of the drop off a 31 cm box followed immediately by a maximum vertical jump evaluation.

Single Leg Drop Jump

Demonstration of a drop and hold in position with a single leg evaluation. 

Single Leg Crossover

In this evaluation, the individual drops off the box, crosses their body's mid-line and holds the landing position for 3 seconds. 

Double Leg Squat

In this evaluation, we assess knee stability in an athlete sitting back and down as if there were a chair behind them.

Squat Jump

In this evaluation, an athlete performs a typical squat, followed by engagement of the core to jump into the air, allowing a view of control among several muscle groups.

Single Leg Hop

Performing a balanced "hop" on each foot to provide evaluation of knee stability.

Single Leg Tests

Series of exercises to assess knee stability.

Christopher Kaeding, MD discusses how Ohio State is on the leading edge of ACL prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, thanks to internationally recognized research and programs.

Our doctors who treat knee sports injuries