OrthoRI ACL Injury Prevention Program for the High School Athlete



ACL injuries are very prevalent in high school athletics. Each year 20,000 to 80,000 female high school athletes suffer from an ACL injury while participating in a sporting activity. Females are 5 times more likely to sprain, tear or rupture their ACL compared to their male counterparts. As a result, ACL prevention programs are a valuable tool for reducing the risks associated with ACL injury. According to a systematic review conducted by Yu-Lun, et al., it was concluded that ACL IPP (Injury Prevention Program) have a significant protective effect to help reduce the risk of injury by 53%. With that being said, it is important that OrthoRI becomes involved in reaching out to the community and aid in preventing future injury through implementation of an effective ACL IPP.

For the past several weeks, the physical therapy staff at Warwick have been working with Tollgate girls soccer to incorporate a pilot ACL IPP for their upcoming season. Our goal is to expand the service line to include any interested RI high school boy’s and girl’s athletic teams


Injury Prevention - Five Key Elements

According to the literature, there are 5 key elements to help reduce the risk for injury to the ACL.  These include strength, agility, plyometrics, balance and flexibility. Athletes must be sufficient in each of these categories to decrease their risk for ACL injury.

Our ACL Prevention Program: What to Expect

The program is broken up into four parts: pre-testing, pre-season work, in-season work, and post season data collection. During the pre-testing phase, athletes came to our Warwick branch to be tested in strength, agility and plyometrics as well as fill out an injury history questionnaire. Strength was tested using the single limb squat test for quad strength and the McGill endurance test for core strength. Agility was tested using the pro agility test and plyometrics were tested through the drop jump test. Once the athletes were tested and scored, we administered supervised skills training sessions to address strength, agility, plyometric, balance and flexibility exercises specifically designed to reduce the risk of ACL injury during their pre-season sessions. Once the season began, a specifically designed program was introduced by an OrthoRI PT to be incorporated in their practice. Finally, data will be collected on incidence of ACL injury and post-season testing will be performed to prove the efficacy of our program.

Where We’re At Now

As previously stated, we are currently under the first pilot program of our ACL IPP. At this time, we have completed the pre-testing and preseason phase and are beginning the in-season phase of the program. This has been an amazing experience thus far and is a great opportunity to become more involved in the athletic community here in Rhode Island. Our vision is to be able to work with multiple schools, utilizing multiple clinics within our network to provide quality teaching and preventative care to athletes.


1. The Risk of ACL Injuries in Female Athletes.
2. Assessing Agility Using the T Test, 5-10-5 Shuttle, and Illinois Test
3. Huang, Yu-Lun, et al. “A Majority of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries Can Be Prevented by Injury Prevention Programs: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials and Cluster–Randomized Controlled Trials With Meta-Analysis.” The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 48, no. 6, 2019, pp. 1505–1515., doi:10.1177/0363546519870175.
4. McGill Core Endurance Test

  • Tags:
  • knee
  • sports
  • training
NOTICE: MRI imaging at our Providence office is currently unavailable due to construction. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve your experience!