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Injury Patterns of Acute ACL Tears in Young Athletes Under the Age of 26 Years

2021 Congress Paper Abstracts

Injury Patterns of Acute ACL Tears in Young Athletes Under the Age of 26 Years

Matthias Schurhoff, MD, UNITED STATES Keith S. Hechtman, MD, UNITED STATES John E. Zvijac, MD, UNITED STATES Gautam Yagnik, MD, UNITED STATES Amelia Weingart, Medical Student, UNITED STATES Hans Drawbert, MS, UNITED STATES Sabrina Gill, Medical Student, UNITED STATES Anshul Saxena, BDS, PhD, UNITED STATES Luis A. Vargas, MD, PhD, UNITED STATES John W. Uribe, MD, UNITED STATES

Miami Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Institute, Coral Gables, FL, UNITED STATES

2021 Congress   ePoster Presentation     Not yet rated


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Summary: Assessment of acute ACL injury patterns comparing contact, vs non-contact, and non sporting activities in patients under the age of 26 years.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears continue to have a high prevalence and are often accompanied by concomitant injuries (CI). Compared to older patients, a young demographic with acute ACL tears allows for an improved assessment of ACL injury patterns due to a lower incidence of pre-existing articular cartilage and meniscal injuries. We hypothesized that young athletes are at a higher risk of incurring a CI during ACL tears than individuals that are not participating in sports, and those participating in contact sports had a higher risk than non-contact sports.


Our institutional database was retrospectively reviewed for acute isolated ACL tears between January 2015 and December 2019 excluding any multiligament injuries and chronic ACL tears. Electronic medical records were further analyzed to confirm and quantify demographics, injury mechanism, and concomitant meniscal and articular cartilage injuries. Acute ACL reconstruction was classified as having surgery within 6 weeks of injury. Differences in proportions were examined.


The overall cohort of ACL tears in patients under the age of 26 years was 467 with 215 being acute (46.0%). Of those, 6 were non-sport related (2.8%), 40 were non-contact sports (18.6%) and 169 were sustained during contact sports (78.6%). ACL tears with any CI occurred in 139 patients (71.8%). The incidence of any CI more than doubled in contact (42.3%) vs. non-contact sport (19.1%) and was lowest in non-sports related injuries (3.3%). During contact sports, 35.3% of patients sustained a concomitant meniscal injury and 14.4% a cartilage lesion.


Acute ACL injury patterns in young athletes showed a substantial increase in concomitant injuries sustained during sporting activities particularly during contact sports. Results from this study emphasize the need for further injury prevention research combined with comprehensive treatment algorithms in this young and active demographic.

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