University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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Evidence Based Practice Article: Are neuromuscular intervention training programs effective in preventing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female athletes?

Beth Wilson MS, ATC

Reference/Citation: Hewett, Timothy E., Ford, Kevin R. and Myer, Gregory D. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes: Part 2, A Meta-analysis of Neuromuscular Intervention Aimed at Injury Prevention. Am. J. Sports Med. 2006; 34: 490-498.

Data Sources: The search was conducted using databases: Academic Search Premier, ArticleFirst, JSTOR, MLA International Bibliograpghy and Web of Science. The search terms included meta-analysis, ACL, intervention program. Additional searches were conducted with reference lists of the retrieved studies.

Study Selection: The authors of this meta-analysis performed a systematic review of the published literature which identified 6 published interventions exploring the effectiveness of anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention in female athletes.

Data Extraction: Data extraction was performed independently by the author. The primary outcome measure was the incidence of ACL injuries among female athletes.

Conclusions: Research suggests that neuromuscular intervention training reduces the risk of ACL injury in female athletes. Five of the 6 studies reviewed in the meta-analysis demonstrated positive trends toward the reduction of ACL injuries in female athletes following a neuromuscular intervention training program. Plyometrics with biofeedback, balance training and strength training may all be necessary components of these programs.