A tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is infrequent but can be disabling for an athlete. Many ACL injuries are multifactorial in origin.


Risk factors for ACL injury in an athlete:

(1) contact sports such as football

(2) noncontact sports involving sudden deceleration, cutting and/or landing

(3) family history

(4) high body mass index

(5) interface between shoe and environmental surface

(6) previous injury to the ACL

(7) malalignment in the lower extremity


Positions that may increase the risk include:

(1) extension of the hip and knee

(2) malalignment of the knee (varus or valgus)

(3) landing flat footed

(4) body position off balance


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