Groundbreaking Research from Mercy Health's Sports Medicine Team on ACL Injuries in Young Athletes wins Prestigious Award

Mercy Health - Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) has awarded the 2016 American Journal of Sports Medicine Systematic Review Award to Mercy Health's orthopaedics and sports medicine team.

They collected the award for their groundbreaking findings on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in young athletes on July 7 at the AOSSM’s annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their findings are based on a systemic review of over 7,000 articles on ACL injuries.

"The current literature surveys the reinjury rate for ACL tear patients aged 13-70 and puts it at three to eight percent. When we pulled age specific research for young athletes, our findings were startling – 23 percent, or more than one in five kids, who’ve torn an ACL will tear it again or tear the other one," said Dr. Wiggins. "This confirmed what we suspected from seeing a disproportionate number of kids with reinjuries in our offices and it is why we recommend a strong focus on injury prevention in young athletes."

Mercy Health Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine hosts programs to study student athletes' biomechanics, including how they jump and land, to identify kids at risk for injury and run them through ACL injury prevention programs. A student athlete who's already had an ACL tear should go through an ACL tear prevention program to lower his or her risk of reinjury.

As someone who's experienced four ACL tears, Dr. Wiggins, a high school and college athlete, doesn’t want any young athlete to experience what she did.

"My experiences motivated me to follow my career path and work to stop these injuries before they happen to protect our young athletes," she says.

The research team is now investigating injury rates by sex and by sport to provide further guidance on injury prevention to orthopaedic specialists, coaches, athletic trainers, patients and young athletes.

The AOSSM gives the Systematic Review Award to the best systematic review paper submitted to the American Journal of Sports Medicine during a calendar year, as determined by a panel of AJSM editors and reviewers.

Amelia J. Wiggins, DO (Mercy Health), Ravi K. Grandhi, MBA (University of Cincinnati), Daniel K. Schneider (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center), Denver Stanfield, MD (Mercy Health – Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine), Kate E. Webster, PhD (La Trobe University, Australia) and Gregory D. Myer, PhD (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) conducted the research, titled “Risk of Secondary Injury in Younger Athletes After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” which appeared in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the leading peer review journal, in July 2016 (http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/44/7/1861.abstract?sid=c3977f51-aa03-4905-a367-d07e4575a7e2).