Date of Award

Spring 4-3-2023

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Allied Health-BS


Health & Sport Sciences


Shelley Payne

First Committee Member

Ashley Simmons

Second Committee Member

Joseph Wilkins

Third Committee Member

Robin Grote


Fatigue, Allied Health, Joints, Kinematics, Performance

Subject Categories

Higher Education | Sports Sciences


Within recent years there has been an increase in the number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries within female athletes (Learning how ACL, 2022). The ACL is a ligamentous structure within the knee that connects the femur and the tibia (Mayo, 2022). Its primary function is to provide stability, prevent the tibia from excessive anterior translation, and provide proprioceptive input for the lower limb (Mayo, 2022). ACL injuries are multifactorial in nature, meaning they can be the result of faulty biomechanics, individual genetic predisposition, or environmental factors (Alentorn- Geli et al., 2009). ACL injuries can be classified into two categories: contact and non-contact with non-contact being the more common injury type (Alentorn- Geli et al., 2009).

Non-contact ACL injuries are classified as those which occur without the presence of another person or thing contacting the lower extremity of the injured person. One of the biggest causes of a non-contact ACL injury is an athlete moving over a planted foot with a valgus knee, but there are many other factors (Brophy, 2021). Non-contact ACL injuries are most common in females (Nasseri, 2021). Some purport that females anatomically have an increased risk of ACL injuries due to their increased Q angle, increased joint laxity, increased pelvic width, and menstrual hormone levels (Lewis, 2000). Others have found an increase in physiological stress and a decrease in self-esteem have also been shown to increase an individual’s chances of an ACL injury (Christino, 2016). A focus of most healthcare professionals including physical therapists and athletic trainers includes the screening for preventable risk factors for non-contact ACL injuries. Preventable risk factors include asymmetry between a person’s limbs, decreased hamstring strength, increased muscle fatigue, decreased landing angle of hip and knee flexion, increased valgus landing, and lack of flexibility in the hip internal rotators (Brophy, 2021). Given the short and long-term negative consequences of an ACL injury, it is important for healthcare providers to explore screening and prevention techniques to employ with at-risk athletic populations.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

Acknowledgement 1


Acknowledgement 2