Tired teen athletes at higher risk for ACL injuries, new research shows

WASHINGTON — Adolescent athletes experiencing fatigue are at an increased risk of developing an ACL injury, new research shows.

The research was presented in San Diego at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting on Thursday.

ACL injuries — which are ligament tears at the knee — are one of the most common injuries affecting teen athletes, according to The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. But they say fatigue can increase risk by 44.7 percent.

“While ACL injury prevention programs are commonly used now, a decrease in injury numbers has not followed suit,” lead author Dr. Mohsin S. Fidai, from Henry Ford Health System in Detroit said.

Fidai said he and other researchers studied 85 athletes for an average of 15.4 years. Participants included adolescents on track and field, as well as basketball, volleyball and soccer teams.

The authors used vertical and drop-jump assessments of each athlete, which were video taped and sent to 11 health observers.

“We hope this study helps advocate for ACL injury prevention training programs to incorporate fatigue resistance training and awareness by coaches, trainers and physical education teachers,” Fidai said.

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