The ACL is the most commonly injured knee ligament and thus has major economic impacts on society. Reconstruction on average cost ranges around $38,000 and the cost of rehabilitation is around $88,000 (1). Furthermore, an ACL injury can be detrimental to an athletic career and life changing, often athletes are never the same and cannot return to the same level of play.
Considerable amounts of studies have been conducted over the past two decades to find the best method or combined approach to prevent and eliminate the physical injury.
One method is the use injury prevention workshops for athletic coaches. These programs show increased knowledge of injury prevention based on pre and post class survey results. However, online workshops alone are not producing an effective reduction in the number of injuries compared to active training methods, which can be specialized to a given sport. (2)
A proactive method is screening athletes, specifically those at risk of injury. Research of this measure helps athletes protect and prepare themselves, specifically in non-contact instances. One study examined the different landing mechanisms of female athletes and identified the landings that put an athlete at higher risk for ACL injury. Using this identification, researchers were able to retrain body mechanics to reduce the likelihood of injury (5). A similar study found related results and specifically discussed the utilization of neuromuscular training (6). Multiple studies have emphasized that an effective program includes an integration of strength and neuromuscular training to ingrain the use of safe movements and attenuate risk. Drill training and feedback on technique can be used to improve body mechanics that avoid risky movements and limit exposure to higher injury risk.
Although these methods are proven effective, due to the nature of unpredictable game time play, prevention programs and drill training alone cannot eliminate injury. This lack of translation could be due to the artificial conditions of research (4). There are still gaps despite these efforts and the occurrence of injury is still increasing year to year.
Therefore, the need for a real-sports monitoring and biofeedback in prevention system is clear and illustrates a combination of methodologies. Esurgi’s Joint Spy is a wearable device that is intended measure biomechanics and provide feedback on risky biomechanics strategies, in real sports without additional infrastructure, to improve clinical screening, enhance biomechanical feedback, and train movement patterns for safe game time play.
What are your thoughts of and experience with a multidimensional approach to creating effective taring programs and technology to reduce the number of game time ACL injuries?