April 04, 2019
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ACL reconstruction may yield higher rate of ACL injuries in female soccer players

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Results published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine showed a higher rate of new ACL injuries and other new knee injuries among female soccer players who underwent ACL reconstruction compared with knee-healthy controls.

Researchers matched 117 active female soccer players who had undergone ACL reconstruction with 119 knee-healthy female soccer players from the same teams. Researchers had players answer a web-based questionnaire that addressed players’ participation in soccer, new acute-onset or nontraumatic injuries to either knee or injury to other body locations six times during the 2-year follow-up. Researchers graded current activity level according to the Tegner Activity Scale at baseline and 2-year follow-up.

Results showed an almost fivefold higher incidence of new ACL injuries and a seven-times higher incidence of knee injury treated with surgery among players who underwent ACL reconstruction compared with controls. During the 2-year follow-up, researchers found 62% of players who underwent ACL reconstruction quit soccer vs. 36% of patients in the control group. Greater satisfaction with knee function was found among the control group at baseline and follow-up, according to results. Researchers noted no differences in the rate of other injuries between the two groups.

“Our results point to an unacceptably high rate of new traumatic and nontraumatic knee injuries among female soccer players with [ACL reconstruction] ACLR,” the authors wrote. “High-quality research is required to identify which factors increase or decrease the risk for sustaining additional knee injuries. This information may subsequently help to inform the development and implementation of injury prevention strategies.” – by Casey Tingle

Disclosure: The study was supported financially by Futurum – the Academy for Healthcare, Region Jönköping County, the Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden, the Faculty of Health Sciences at Linköping University, The Swedish Research Council for Sport Science and the Swedish Football Association.