ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's first - and only - program aimed at taking a wide-scale community prevention approach to decrease non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears among female high school athletes is working, and as a result, is being expanded in Rochester, New York. The program, called PEP (Prevent injury, Enhance Performance), targets the prevention of one of the most serious knee injuries that can sideline athletic careers among females, who are at six to nine times greater risk than males to sustain an ACL tear.
Organized by University Sports Medicine (USM), the PEP program is being rolled out to 119 high schools in Section V, an area that covers all Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Livingston, Allegany, Steuben and Wayne counties in upstate New York. The expansion, made possible by a $161,000 grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation (GRHF), will cover junior varsity and varsity female athletes playing soccer, volleyball and basketball - the three main sports with high incidences of ACL tears. USM officials expect to train about 11,180 athletes on nearly 700 teams during the two-year program.
GRHF provided the seed money for USM to introduce the program to Monroe County high school athletes in January 2007. Since that time, USM athletic trainers have worked with 1,137 female athletes on 71 teams, and preliminary results are promising.
"We would typically expect to see about two ACL tears per 100 participan
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