Video analysis of ACL injuries in professional footballers
The prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in professional football is significant, with studies showing that on average one player will suffer an ACL injury every second season. Understanding the mechanism(s) of injury is imperative in injury prevention research. The following study utilised systemic video analysis in male professional football players to describe ACL injury mechanisms.
Videos from 39 complete ACL tears were assessed prospectively between 2001 and 2011. A structured format was implemented to describe the injury circumstances and lower limb joint biomechanics.
25 injuries were non-contact, eight indirect, and six direct. The authors identified three main categories for the former two: (1) pressing, (2) re-gaining balance after kicking, and (3) landing after heading. Knee valgus was frequently seen in these above cases, but dynamic valgus collapse was rare.
These findings suggest that ACL injury prevention interventions should focus on neuromuscular control of the lower extremity, footwork and running technique during agility-based movements, and maintaining balance when kicking.
> From: Walden et al., Br J Sports Med (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.