Who is affected by anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries?

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur in about 1 out of 3,000 people.1

  • 70% of ACL injuries occur during a sporting activity.1
  • Most ACL injuries occur in people between 15 and 44 years of age.2
  • More women than men have ACL injuries. In sports, women injure their ACLs up to 8 times as often as men.3

Experts do not know the incidence of ACL injuries in children. One study indicated that 1 in 200 children under age 12 has had an ACL injury.4


  1. D'Amato MJ, Rach BR Jr (2003). Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in the adult section of Anterior cruciate ligament injuries. In JC DeLee, D Drez Jr, eds., Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, 2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 2012–2067. Philadelphia: Saunders.
  2. Childs SG (2002). Pathogenesis of anterior cruciate ligament injury. Orthopaedic Nursing, 21(4): 35–40.
  3. Seroyer S, West R (2007). Anterior cruciate ligament section of Injuries specific to the female athlete. In PJ McMahon, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Sports Medicine, pp. 259–260. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  4. Dorizas JA, Stanitski CL (2003). Anterior cruciate ligament injury in the skeletally immature. Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 34(3): 355–363.

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