ACL Injury: Why me? Why now?


Your advice today is coming from Mick Hughes. Mick is a Physiotherapist & Exercise Physiologist with a very keen interest in ACL injury management and ACL injury prevention. He has previously worked within elite sporting teams such as the Collingwood Magpies Netball, Newcastle Jets U20s and NQ Cowboys U20s.

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I had an interesting discussion recently about how ACL injuries occur despite the player performing the same change of direction/pivoting action "millions" of times.

And it's a fair point: How can a player pivot without injury 1000 times in a season, yet the 1001st time that they pivot it ruptures their ACL?

 I don't know the answer; but sometimes an ACL injury is simply bad luck, and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to come up with an answer as to why it occurred.

One big thing to understand is that, although there are many modifiable reasons as to why an ACL injury occurs (strength & muscular control being the 2 main players), there are also many NON-MODIFABLE factors as to why they occurred (anatomy, hormones, genetics), which we simply have no control over.

At the moment, the current evidence tells us this:

1) To reduce risk of primary ACL injury; 50% ACL injuries are reduced with neuromuscular training programs (think FIFA 11+, Netball Knee, AFL FOOTY FIRST). Minimum 30mins per week (or 10mins minimum before trainings and games)

 2) To reduce risk of ACL recurrences; wait 9 months before return to sport & pass a series of strength, hop and subjective questionnaires discharge criteria before return to sport.

 As long as we all do this, we can sleep well at night. If we do more than this, then that's a bonus 👍

For more on all things ACL injury, watch my online ACL tutorials by clicking on the following links:

1) (delayed access, password required)

2) (instant access)

3) Melbourne ACL Rehabilitation Guide

Bryce Finck