In our previous posts on ACL injury we have highlighted girls are 6-8 more likely to sustain an ACL injury compared to boys in the same sport. Multiple research studies have attempted to reduce this risk by implementing sport specific strength, agility, and balance programs. On average, these programs have a significant impact on injury rates with ACL injury by 1/3 to 1/2. A recent long term study was conducted over a 12 year period studying the impact of a hip focused prevention program on girls basketball players.
Omi and colleagues conducted a prospective intervention study on 309 college female basketball players (Am J Sp Med. 2018) over a 12 year period. The girls were tracked and observed over the first 4 years of the study and sustained 16 ACL injuries (13 non contact). Next the authors implemented an 8 year intervention program consisting of strengthening, balance, and agility exercises. The authors reported ACL injuries were 1/3 as frequent during the intervention program compared to the observation period. Dropping the risk of ACL injury by 38%. Amazingly, the exercise compliance rate was 89% during the trial demonstrating the impact of focused, consistently performed exercises in this population.