Background To prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, knowledge regarding risk factors and prevention methods must be disseminated to the public. However, it is unclear how the general population obtains information about or recognizes risk factors for ACL injuries.
Objective To identify the information sources and risk factor recognition level for ACL injury among the general public.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Web-based survey.
Patients (or Participants) 900 people who recognized “ACL injury”. The age and sex of participants were evenly distributed.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) Participants answered questions regarding their information sources and risk factors influencing ACL injury.
Main Outcome Measurements Descriptive analyses of patient responses were performed, with each response characterized by percentage of participants and the 95% confidence interval (CI).
Results As an information source, “television” was the most frequent (57.0% [53.8–60.2]). Other information sources were “injury of friends” (22.4% [19.7–25.2]), “coach” (16.6％ [14.1–19.0]), “internet” (16.3% [13.9–18.7]) and “newspaper” (9.3% [7.4–11.2]). Regarding risk factors of ACL injuries, the most frequent response was “increased weight” (80.3% [77.7–82.9]). “Knee valgus” and “knee varus” during landing were both considered risk factors (63.3% [60.2–66.5] and 62.9% [59.7–66.0], respectively). Additionally, decreased muscle strength of quadriceps and hamstrings were both recognized as risk factors (69.2% [66.2–72.2] and 68.9% [65.9–71.9], respectively).
Conclusions Television, specifically news of an athlete's injury, was the most frequent information source for ACL injury. Although knee valgus during landing and decreased muscle strength of the hamstrings are considered risk factors for ACL injury, this is not understood properly by the general public. It is clear that better education about risk factors and prevention methods for ACL injuries through media, such as television, is required.