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ACL Injury Prevention: Knee Joint Angle Measurement During Landing and Jumping

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries occur 4 to 6 times more often in females than males. ACL rupture leads to costs between $17,000 to $25,000 for surgery and rehabilitation per patient, and 9 to 12 months of missed participation in sports. An estimated 38,000 ACL injuries in girls and women in 2001 cost approximately $650 million - $950 million dollars to treat. There are several well recognized biomechanical and neuromuscular abnormalities that have been shown to increase the risk of ACL rupture in females when compared to males. If identified early through appropriate screening tests, these aberrant jumping and landing patterns can be corrected with specific ACL injury prevention programs, leading to a relative risk reduction of 30% to 80%. These biomechanical and neuromuscular abnormalities are a modifiable risk factor, correctable by focused strengthening programs and neuromuscular re-education.

The gold standard of measurement of these high risk knee angles during a landing and jumping task uses multiple high speed cameras that track reflective markers placed on a test subject. A standard system is laboratory based and costs over $100,000 to install. Researchers at the University of Missouri have a portable, inexpensive system (<$300) that can measure individuals much more quickly and efficiently than previous technology. This provides the opportunity for an instantaneous ACL injury risk assessment profile for the subject. Potential venues for ACL injury screening include orthopedic clinics, physical therapy units, public and private work-out facilities, and during school pre-participation annual physical examinations. This technology will also be used to create software and video games that use this device for immediate biofeedback to teach proper movement and exercise technique.

-Identify female athletes at high risk for ACL injury
-Immediate biofeedback for improving neuromuscular control

-Significantly lower cost than other techniques
-Less set up time required
-Immediate feedback

-Initial test complete and follow-up data collected

Additional Details


University of Missouri

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent

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