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ACL Injury Prevention Program is First in Nation to Tackle Growing Problem
Date:2/9/2009

ts, or about 58 non-contact ACL tears for the 2,900 athletes we have been working with," Michael Maloney, M.D., director of USM, said. "To date, we've seen only 10 non-contact ACL tears, so this data is very promising. I'm grateful that with additional funding from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation, we are able to significantly expand the reach of our program, and help even more female athletes stay in the game and attain their goals, whatever they may be."

The program has steadily been gaining national attention. In 2008, the NCAA posted an interactive segment on ACL injuries to its website, which included a feature on USM's PEP program.

Mystery Surrounds Female ACL Tears

The numbers on female ACL tears are astounding. Over 1.4 million women have been afflicted in the past 10 years alone -- twice the rate of the previous decade. It is estimated that more than 30,000 high school and college age females will rupture their ACL every year. In the last 15 years, ankle sprains have decreased by 86 percent while knee ligament injuries have increased by 172 percent.

Much speculation exists on the cause of the higher non-contact ACL injury rate in females, with hormones, biomechanics and environment some of the common culprits named. While researchers have been unable to definitively pinpoint the exact cause for the increased incidence in females, they have been able to develop a series of specific stretching, strengthening, flexibility and balance exercises that have been shown to significantly reduce injury rates.

"PEP works by retraining the nervous and muscle system in female athle
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SOURCE University of Rochester Medical Center
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