Let's Start Treating Knee Injuries Like Brain Injuries
TIME reports on the increase in ACL injuries among female athletes according to experts including Andrew D. Pearle, MD, chief of sports medicine at HSS.
So, how to attack this complex problem? In May, The Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program and HSS created the National ACL Injury Coalition, a group of experts and leaders that will work together through 2026 to identify and implement practices, partnerships, and resources that can reduce injuries in the high school population.
Step one: Get coaches to build better injury-prevention exercises into team activities. That includes neuro-muscular training, which develops muscle memory that optimizes athletic movement and leads to more control, agility, and strength during sudden changes of direction. Such exercises include squats and side lunges and can eliminate 50% to 80% of non-contact ACL injuries. As a side benefit, they improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of other injuries like ankle sprains and even concussions.
Team warm-ups should include the FIFA-developed protocol 11+. Or coaches could ask players to do these exercises at home and track their participation through an app called RIIP Reps.
“It’s there, it’s free,” said Dr. Pearle. “It’s seven minutes a day, four days a week. We just need coaches to implement it."
Read the full article at time.com.