Ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament in soccer

Int J Sports Med. 2009 May;30(5):372-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1105947. Epub 2009 Feb 6.


Ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are serious, common and costly injuries. The present 12-year investigation was undertaken to examine the frequency of ACL ruptures and identify the game events that may have contributed to the cause of these injuries in male soccer players across a French district. A retrospective questionnaire was used to record the players' age at the time of injury, laterality, standard of play, playing position and injured side. The characteristics of the injury situations were described in detail to investigate the game events involved in each case. A total of 934 ruptures was reported. Significantly more ruptures were sustained in a non-contact versus a contact situation (p<0.01). Of the total number of lesions, 34.5% occurred during a pivot action. The right knee was affected more than the left knee (p<0.001), irrespective of the dominant side of the player. Certain game events reported in the injury situations were shown to be related to player's age, standard and position. While these results have confirmed observations from previous investigations on ACL ruptures in soccer, the analysis of a considerably larger number of injury cases has brought new findings to the literature as well as recommendations for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Knee Injuries / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rupture / epidemiology
  • Rupture / etiology
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult