Dr. Carole Vetter talks about ACL injuries

Carole Vetter, MD, orthopaedic surgeon, talks about the training we offer that strengthens the knee to prevent an ACL injury and the treatment available should you injure your ACL.

Evidence suggests that by participating in a structured prevention program, which emphasizes strength development, neuromuscular control and proper jumping/cutting technique you can minimize your risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Improve Lower Strength, Stability, Reaction & Balance to Prevent ACL Injury

The ACL Injury Prevention Program is a comprehensive six-week program (performed twice a week) designed to improve lower extremity strength, core stability, reaction times and balance. Emphasis is placed on sports-specific mechanics, body control and multidirectional movements. 

We utilize the latest equipment and training techniques to conduct a thorough evaluation and design a conditioning program and individualized strength workout that will address your needs and goals.

If you want to improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury, the ACL Injury Prevention Program is the answer.

Female ACL Injury Prevention

Females — especially adolescents and young women — face a higher risk of ACL injury than males. Several physiological differences between males and females have been identified as contributory factors.

  • Decreased Ligament Strength During Menstrual Cycle: During the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels increase in the body, and this increase is thought to cause decreased ligament strength.
  • Notch Size: The space (notch) that the ACL and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) sit in is thought to be smaller in women. As a result, there is a greater potential for the ACL to be severed. 
  • Increased Q-angle: Women have a greater Q-angle — the angle from the hip to the ankle. A greater Q-angle is caused by hip varus (wider hips), knee valgus (knock kneed) and foot pronation (flat feet). Having a greater Q-angle puts more stress on the ACL.  
  • Landing Mechanics and Neuromuscular Control: Women tend to land flat footed, and don’t bend their knees enough when landing. Women also tend to let their knees collapse inwards when landing from a jump. These mechanics put more stress on the ACL and more pressure on the knee joint. These poor landing mechanics are usually due to a lack of neuromuscular control.
  • Hamstring Strength & Reaction: Women tend to have stronger quadriceps muscle than hamstring muscle. This puts more shear force on the tibia and can put a greater strain on the ACL. When landing from a jump, the quadriceps and hamstrings need to fire equally to keep the knee in its most stable position. Since women tend to use their quadriceps more, the hamstrings don’t fire equally. This places more shear force on the tibia which, in turn, puts more stress on the ACL.

The ACL Injury Prevention Program and Women's Sports Medicine Program work together with female athletes for proper training to improve these attributes and minimize the female risk of ACL injury.

Share This: