Health Encyclopedia

Sports and ACL Injuries

Sports and ACL Injuries

Both contact and noncontact sports can put a high demand on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lead to increased risk for injury. Injuries to the ACL can happen when the knee joint is bent backward, twisted, or bent side to side. Generally, high-demand sports are those sports that require stop-and-go movements, jumping, or weaving through other players or obstacles. Low-demand sports are those sports that require no contact and no twisting movements that would put stress on the ACL.

High-demand sports include:

  • Basketball.
  • Figure skating.
  • Football.
  • Gymnastics.
  • Handball.
  • Field hockey.
  • Lacrosse.
  • Rugby.
  • Skiing.
  • Soccer.
  • Tennis (especially singles).
  • Volleyball.
  • Wrestling.

Moderate-demand sports include:

  • Baseball.
  • Tennis (doubles).
  • Track (hurdles and nonjumping field events).

Low-demand sports include:

  • Crew.
  • Cycling.
  • Jogging.
  • Swimming.
  • Track (running events).
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Freddie H. Fu, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
Last Revised April 5, 2012

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