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).

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.
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 providers who treat knee sports injuries

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