Background: Programs to prevent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in female basketball players are scarce. Also, ACL injury prevention training that focuses on hip joint function has not been reported.
Purpose: To determine the effectiveness of a hip-focused ACL injury prevention program in female basketball players.
Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. Methods: A prospective intervention study was conducted for 12 years. Incidence rates of ACL injuries were collected in the first 4 years (observation period) from college female basketball players. After the observation period, a hip-focused ACL injury prevention program was implemented for 8 years (intervention period). A total of 309 players (mean 6 SD age, 19.6 6 1.2 years; height, 163.7 6 5.6 cm; weight, 59.1 6 5.1 kg; body mass index, 22.0 6 1.4) were tracked in the observation period and compared with 448 players (age, 19.6 6 1.1 years; height, 162.6 6 5.8 cm; weight, 58.0 6 5.7 kg; body mass index, 21.9 6 1.5) who participated in the intervention period. Athlete-exposures (AEs), ACL numbers and mechanisms of injury (MOIs), relative risk (RR), absolute risk reduction (ARR), numbers needed to treat (NNT), and compliance were analyzed.
Results: There were 16 ACL injuries (13 noncontact MOIs) in the 4-year observation period, whereas 9 ACL injuries (8 noncontact MOIs) were recorded in the 8-year intervention period. The overall ACL injury incidence was 0.25/1000 AEs in the 4-year observation period compared with 0.10/1000 AEs in the 8-year intervention period, respectively. Compared with the 4-year observation period, significant RR reduction was observed (0.38; 95% CI, 0.17-0.87; P = .017) with ARR and NNT of 0.032 (95% CI, 0.027- 0.037) and 31.6 (95% CI, 27.1-37.7), respectively, in the 8-year intervention period. The noncontact ACL injury incidence was 0.21 per 1000 AEs during the 4-year observation period compared with 0.08/1000 AEs in the 8-year intervention period, which also showed significant RR reduction (0.37; 95% CI, 0.15-0.92; P = .026), with ARR and NNT of 0.024 (95% CI, 0.020-0.029) and 41.3 (95% CI, 34.6-51.3), respectively. The mean compliance rate during the intervention periods (8 years) was 89%.
Conclusion: A hip-focused injury prevention program demonstrated significant reduction in the incidence of ACL injury in female collegiate basketball players.
Keywords: preventive neuromuscular training; female athletes; hip; basketball; ACL; adherence