New program helping to prevent ACL injuries - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

New program helping to prevent ACL injuries

The human knee joint The human knee joint
Todd Peterson Todd Peterson

LOUISVILLE, KY (MEDSTAR) - The anterior cruciate ligament helps to hold the human knee in place. To an athlete, tearing it can mean a year or more on the sidelines. Unfortunately, this is becoming an all too prevalent phenomenon in young athletes, especially girls. It's estimated that 30,000 young female athletes tear their ACLs every year. However, a new prevention program is showing great results in cutting down on these injuries.

ACL tears are usually the result of a sudden stop or change of direction, which causes the ligament to stretch beyond its limits. Trainer Todd Peterson teaches athletes to move in a manner that minimizes the chances of injury.

"The goal of our program is to kind of look at those biomechanical factors and to manipulate them, change them, teach them a more efficient position," he says.

For instance, Peterson says it's safer to jump with your knees apart.

He also teaches proper cutting techniques, agility skills, and helps athletes build lower body strength.

Early results are good. A two-year study on the program showed a 72 percent drop in ACL injuries. Hopefully, this will keep more athletes off the bench and on the field.

ACL tears are usually the result of a sudden stop or change of direction, which causes the ligament to stretch beyond its limits. Trainer Todd Peterson teaches athletes to move in a manner that minimizes the chances of injury.

"The goal of our program is to kind of look at those biomechanical factors and to manipulate them, change them, teach them a more efficient position," he says.

For instance, Peterson says it's safer to jump with your knees apart.

He also teaches proper cutting techniques, agility skills, and helps athletes build lower body strength.

Early results are good. A two-year study on the program showed a 72 percent drop in ACL injuries. Hopefully, this will keep more athletes off the bench and on the field.

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