More Research Needed to Verify Effectiveness of ACL and Knee Injury Prevention Programs, Study Says

July 17, 2010

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of prevention programs for knee injuries in young athletes, according to a study presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Better designed research studies are needed before it can be determined that ACL and knee injuries can be prevented with specialized training programs, the study noted.

“There is evidence that injury prevention programs may reduce the risk of some , but additional research in necessary,” said Kevin G. Shea, M.D., Intermountain Orthopaedics, Boise, Idaho. “Questions about the efficacy of some programs exist and additional well-designed research studies need to be conducted before we can definitively prove the value of these programs for ACL and other knee injury.”

An estimated 200,000 ACL injuries occur annually in the U.S, according to the American Journal of . Approximately, 15 percent of all involve the knee. Fifty percent of those injuries result in a doctor or hospital visit.

In the study, the authors searched for ACL/Knee injury prevention program studies in three medical databases. Then, using a “quality of evidence” ranking algorithm, the authors evaluated the studies. Fifteen studies were found that met the authors’ research criteria. Of the 15 studies, nine demonstrated a reduction of knee or ACL injury. Of the 13 studies that looked at ACL injury specifically, five studies demonstrated a reduction of ACL injury. Careful review of these studies, however, showed that many contained design flaws. These design flaws introduce bias into the results, which raises questions about the effectiveness of some injury prevention programs, the study noted.

“At this time, we do not have the highest quality research designs showing us that preventive training programs can reduce knee/ACL injuries,” said Shea. “That doesn’t mean that these training programs do not help - I encourage my own children and my patients to be do these exercises, as the existing evidence suggests some benefit to these training programs. But, we need better research evidence that confirms the effectiveness of programs. These types of studies are difficult to conduct, and require significant resources to produce the research. The sports medicine community should continue research in this area, including NIH funded studies to conduct the high quality clinical trials.”

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.