Blog #16: ACL Injury Incidence by Chris Schattinger, MS, CSCS, CISSN

The first thought that most have when hearing or seeing a knee injury is “ACL”. This is with good reason as the ACL, along with the meniscus, seem to be the most common knee injuries across America.

It is estimated that approximately 200,000 ACL injuries occur per year at a rate of 69 per 100,000 people. Males ages 19-25 and females ages 14-18 have a significantly higher rate of injury occurrence at 241 per 100,000 and 228 per 100,000 respectively. It is important to note that males have a higher incidence of injury. This is because more males participate in activities, namely sports, that have a higher risk of injury.

The average cost of repairing an ACL injury is $27,000 and can become much costlier depending on the stability of the knee (additional $15,000 for rehab with stable knee, $62,000 with unstable knee). It is estimated that ACL injuries alone cost approximately $500 million per year in the United States.

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Sanders, T. L., Kremers, H., Bryan, A. J., Larson, D. R., Dahm, D. L., Levy, B. A., … Krych, A. J. (2016). Incidence of anterior cruciate ligament tears and reconstruction: a 21-year population-based study. The American journal of sports medicine,44(6), 1502–1507. doi:10.1177/0363546516629944

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons