Lower-limb dominance as a possible etiologic factor in noncontact anterior cruciate ligament tears

J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Feb;21(1):270-3. doi: 10.1519/00124278-200702000-00048.


The purpose of this study was to determine if lower-limb dominance is a potential etiologic factor in noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. A multicenter retrospective case analysis was performed. In each of the participating centers, patients were questioned to confirm a noncontact ACL injury and to determine lower-limb dominance. Three hundred and two subjects (149 males and 153 females) who presented with unilateral noncontact ACL tears participated in the study. The relationships between limb dominance, side of injury, and gender were analyzed. There was no significant correlation between the side of injury and the dominant limb for kicking (p = 0.30). There was no significant gender effect of the relationship between side of injury and dominant limb (p = 0.36). When assessing gender types and side of ACL tears, females showed a strong trend toward tearing the left ACL more frequently than the right (p = 0.06). No such trend existed for males. The results of this study indicate that there is no significant relationship between lower-limb dominance and the likelihood of sustaining a noncontact ACL tear. However, the strong trend toward females tearing their left ACLs more often than their right ACLs warrants further investigation to determine what neuromuscular asymmetries may exist between the right and left lower limbs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors