ACL Knee Injuries - An Ounce of Prevention is Priceless

Nearly a quarter of a million anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur each year in North America in athletes who participate in high demand sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. A major injury prevention position statement released today by the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine (CASEM) and published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (CJSM) ( concludes that youth soccer players and their coaches can significantly decrease the incidence of ACL injuries by incorporating neuromuscular training (NMT) into their warm-up routines. NMT involves doing specific agility and strength training activities.  NMT should be incorporated into routine practices and warm ups and should begin, at the very latest, in the early teenage years. "These warm up exercises, carried out correctly, will keep the athletes on the field instead of in our offices", states Dr. Cathy Campbell, co-author of the new position statement and team doctor for the Canadian women's soccer team. CASEM recommends a Canada-wide approach and advocates that all Canadian youth soccer players should have NMT incorporated into their programs. The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), the governing body for soccer in Canada, endorses CASEM's position statement and supports this injury prevention program aimed at protecting athlete's health and allowing them to perform at the highest level.  Dr Robert McCormack, one of four orthopaedic surgeons authoring this position statement, is also the medical representative on the CSA Medical Committee and Chief Medical Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee and he agrees that "there is an important need to address the epidemic of these serious injuries". FIFA, soccer's international governing body, has adopted the FIFA 11+ program which mandates a complete warm-up programme to reduce injuries among male and female football players aged 14 years and older.  The use of this program has resulted in a 52-72% reduction in ACL injury in girls and an 85% reduction in boys. Dr. James Carson, who is also a co-author of this position statement and a physician for the Seneca College Varsity Athletes program, sums it up by saying, "This is a bad injury which usually requires major surgery, so it's important for soccer coaches across Canada to help save kids' knees." The CASEM is an organization of physicians committed to the excellence in the practice of medicine as it applies to all aspects of physical activity. SOURCE Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine To read thr original article, please click the following link: