Background Several risk factors for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury have been evaluated in the literatures. It is highly probable that many of the identified risk factors for ACL injury are passed through families. However few articles describe a familial predisposition to ACL injury.
Objective To investigate whether there is a familial predisposition to ACL injury.
Design Retrospective study.
Methods The study group comprised 350 consecutive patients who underwent ACL reconstruction between January 2005 and September 2008. All patients were surveyed by telephone or written questionnaire about their family history (FH) of ACL injury, sports in which family members participated and mechanisms of injury. We also compared age, height, weight, Tegner activity score, general joint laxity, and tibial slope between the FH group (with a FH of ACL injury) and a control group (without a FH of ACL injury).
Results Complete information was obtained from 335 of the 350 patients, 38 (11.3%) of whom had a FH of ACL injury. Two families had three members with ACL injuries. Among the 40 family members with ACL injuries, 38 (95%) had a non-contact ACL injuries, and 34 (85%) injured their ACL by the same mechanism as the related patient. Comparisons of the FH and control groups identified no significant differences with regard to age, height, weight, Tegner activity score, or general joint laxity, but tibial slope was significantly larger in the FH group than in the control group.
Conclusion Our results indicate a high probability that many of the identified risk factors for ACL injury are passed through families. Screening tests for a FH of ACL injury thus could identify a population at increased risk of ACL injury who would benefit most from preventative neuromuscular training programs designed to reduce the risk of ACL injury.
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