What's the best way to prevent ACL injuries?

The jury is still out on this one. We can give you the results so far. Studies show balance and strength training are important. Flexibility is also a key feature in prevention programs. Training in all three of these areas is advised for the ankle, knee, and hip.

Single-leg balance drills have been shown to decrease knee injuries in female athletes. Forward and backward motion of the joint is improved with these exercises. Side-to-side motion is not as likely to change.

The results of studies so far suggest preseason training works well for athletes at risk for ACL injury. This includes female athletes with increased forward joint motion of the tibia (lower leg) against the femur (upper leg). Team training is good, but preventing injury works best by looking at each player's needs and providing individual training.