I spy with my little eye ... a knee about to go ‘pop’? Can coaches and sports medicine professionals predict who is at greater risk of ACL rupture?

Review written by Dr Travis Pollen info

Key Points

  • The vertical drop jump is a screening test used to assess an athlete’s risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The vertical drop jump (VDJ) is a screening test intended to assess an athlete’s risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Previous prospective studies using 3D motion capture have found mixed evidence for the VDJ test’s validity for injury prediction (1, 2). Based on motion capture’s limitations, it has been proposed that the human eye may be more adept at assessing injury risk during a VDJ.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether coaches and sports medicine professionals can predict athletes’ risk of ACL injury from visual assessment of VDJ video. The study also investigated (1) whether there were differences in predictive ability between different professions, (2) how confident assessors were in their ratings, and (3) what criteria the assessors based their scores on.

Previous studies have shown mixed resultswhen it comes tothe vertical drop jump’s validity for ACL injury prediction.
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Due to the multifactorial nature of injury, it’s becoming better understood that one test will probably never be able to predict injury.

METHODS

237 coaches and sports medicine professionals completed an online survey that was circulated via email and social media. Of the 237 participants, 110 were physical therapists. The rest were physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, researchers, students, or

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