Comparison of ACL Injury Prevention Training Programs

Frank R. Noyes, MD, and Sue D. Barber Westin, BS

ACL Train Spts Health 11

Context: Many anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention training programs have been published, but few have assessed the effects of training on both ACL injury rates and athletic performance tests.

Objective: To

determine if ACL injury prevention programs have a positive influence on both injury rates and athletic performance tests in female athletes.

Data sources: In August 2011, a search was conducted (1995–August 2011) of the PubMed, Science Direct, and CINAHL databases.

Study selection: Selected studies determined the effect of ACL intervention training programs on ACL incidence rates (determined by athlete-exposures) and athletic performance tests, such as isokinetic strength, vertical jump height, speed, agility, and dynamic balance. Because no single article contained both criteria, investigations were cross-referenced to obtain data on both factors from the same training programs.

Data extraction: The authors reviewed the selected studies for cohort population numbers, age, sports, duration of study, program components, duration of training, number of athlete-exposures, ACL injury incidence rates, and results of athletic performance tests.

Results: Initially, 57 studies were identified that described 42 ACL injury prevention training programs. Of these, 17 studies that investigated 5 programs met the inclusion criteria. Two programs significantly reduced ACL injury rates and improved athletic performance tests: Sportsmetrics and the Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance program (PEP). Sportsmetrics produced significant increases in lower extremity and abdominal strength, vertical jump height, estimated maximal aerobic power, speed, and agility. Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance significantly improved isokinetic knee flexion strength but did not improve vertical jump height, speed, or agility. The other 3 programs (Myklebust, the “11,” and Knee Ligament Injury Prevention) did not improve both ACL injury rates and athletic performance tests.

Conclusions: Only the Sportsmetrics and PEP ACL intervention training programs had a positive influence on injury reduction and athletic performance tests.

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