Female players who injure their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are five times more likely to re-injure their knee and are more likely to quit football.

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This prospective study compared female players who underwent an ACL reconstruction (ACLR) with their healthy peers. The authors found that the players who had an ACLR were both more likely to re-injure their knee and to quit playing football1.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a common problem in football players with female players having a substantially greater risk of injury than men. While ACLR can achieve good knee function and there are high levels of return to sport amongst elite players, this is less likely to be the case in recreational players. Compared with elite players, recreational players are less likely to return to sport. In both elite and non-elite players there are relatively high rates of post-traumatic osteoarthritis and future morbidity.

This FastFact highlights a prospective cohort study from the American Journal of Sports Medicine. A total of 117 female football players who had an ACLR (almost all using hamstring autograft) were compared to 119 players who had healthy knees and played in the same football teams. These players were followed for two years looking at new knee injuries, other injuries, football playing level, activity level (on the Tegner Activity Scale), and satisfaction with activity level and knee function.

The results of this study are in line with other data, reporting an increased risk of sustaining a new ACL injury after an ACLR. In this series, players with a history of ACLR were five-times more likely to sustain a further ACL injury. There was also a two- to four-fold higher rate of other traumatic and non-traumatic knee injuries compared with controls. Finally players with a history of ACLR were more likely to stop playing football than those who had not sustained an injury.

The data presented in this series, and in other similar studies, clearly illustrates an increased risk of further knee injury following a primary ACL injury. This study also shows that this is associated with lower participation rates. The importance of ACL prevention programmes, which can reduce the risk of injury by about 50%, is clearly illustrated. This type of programme can reduce the risk of the primary injury, reduce the risk of subsequent injury and can prevent substantial morbidity.

To learn more about the anterior cruciate ligament and other knee injuries among football players complete the ‘Anterior Cruciate Ligament’ and ‘Knee’ modules in the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine.

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31 mars 2019 18:29

Les lésions du ligament croisé anterieur sont l une des lésions les plus fréquentes dans le FOOTBALL. Sa prise en charge tient compte de plusieurs aspect
Compétence du chirurgien
L age du patient
Si l intervention se passe dans de très bonne condition avec une bonne prise en charge post chirurgicale et un repos il n y’a pas de raison qu’ on puisse pas avoir un bon résultat et notre sportive pourra rester longtemps dans les competitions

Abdessamad Nadhi
03 mai 2020 1:15

Very nice