Female athletes at highest risk for first-time noncontact ACL tear
Although multiple factors influence first-time noncontact ACL injuries, female athletes are most at risk to sustain them, according to recently published data.
Researchers reviewed first-time noncontact ACL injury data from 320,719 collegiate athletes and 873,057 high school athletes between fall 2008 and spring 2012. Athlete exposure was determined retrospectively using team-reported schedule and roster data. Effects of competition level, sport and sex on ACL injury risk were estimated by Poisson regression.
Athlete incidence rate was 0.150 per 1,000 person-days among collegiate athletes and 0.061 per 1,000 person-days among high school athletes. When adjusted for differences in sport and gender, the researchers found college athletes were significantly more likely to sustain a first-time noncontact ACL injury than high school athletes.
Overall injury incidence rate was 0.112 in female athletes and 0.063 for males. When adjusted for sport and level of play, females were more than two times more likely than males to have a first-time noncontact ACL injury.
Among all athletes, rugby and soccer players ran the highest risk of these ACL injuries (2.23 and 1.77 times more likely, respectively), according to the researchers.
Disclosure: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 AR050421) and the Department of Energy (SC00017).