Background Previous meta-analyses have revealed that effective programs to prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female basketball players have not been established.
Objective To investigate the effects of an ACL injury prevention program focused on improving hip joint function in female basketball players.
Design Cohort study.
Setting Intervention study for well-trained varsity athletes.
Patients (or Participants) Four hundred eighty-nine (180 intervention and 309 control) female varsity division II basketball players (18–22 years of age) participated in this study.
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) The prevention program consisted of education (injury mechanism, neutral position, etc.) and neuromuscular training to improve hip joint function (jump-landing exercise with a band, hip external rotator and abductor strength training, and balance exercises). Players were guided through this program by several physical therapists. They were instructed to keep the knee and toe in a neutral position in the jump-landing exercise. The intervention group performed this program three times a week throughout the season. The control group maintained their routine warm-up session. All ACL injuries were verified by arthroscopy or magnetic resonance imaging findings.
Main Outcome Measurements The 1000 athlete-exposure (1000 AE) and relative risk index (intervention vs. control) of ACL injuries were calculated and compared between the groups using the χ2 test. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05.
Results Three ACL injuries occurred in the intervention group, whereas 16 occurred in the control group. The incidence of injury in the intervention and control groups was 0.08/1000 AE and 0.25/1000 AE, respectively. The relative risk index was 0.32 (95% CI, 0.092–1.086; P=0.053, χ2 test).
Conclusions Prevention programs to reduce ACL injuries may be beneficial in well-trained female basketball players.
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